EL PASO, Texas (Nexstar/BorderReport) — As El Paso continues to experience a massive influx of migrants crossing the border into the city, local officials brace for more with Title 42 expected to officially lift next week.

El Paso officials are trying to ensure federal funding to avoid a major humanitarian crisis in the region once Title 42 migrant expulsions stop on Dec. 21. Title 42 is a pandemic-era public health policy that allowed the United States to send migrants — including asylum seekers — back to Mexico or their home country.

Already, the number of daily migrant apprehensions is shooting up and nonprofit shelters are full and federal holding facilities are operating at several times their capacity.

In a tweet, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief Peter Jaquez’s said the daily average of encounters over the last three days has been 2,460.

However, the current surge has been building up for weeks. U.S. Customs and Border Protection data relayed to the City of El Paso shows daily apprehensions up in the past three weeks and the average of migrants in federal custody above 4,000 for the past two weeks.  Local officials expect the numbers to grow after Dec. 21.

Doris Meissner — a senior fellow at a nonpartisan D.C. think-tank, the Migrant Policy Institute — said this surge is likely due to migrants understanding that Title 42 is ending.

“If Congress does extend Title 42, it probably would be litigated and found to be illegal because it is a public health measure,” Meissner said of growing GOP calls to extend the public health rule.

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of mostly Texas congressional delegates sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to extend the program.

“We have a crisis at our southern border. Never before in our nation’s history have we experienced this scope and scale of illegal border crossings, and we remain concerned that your administration has not provided sufficient support or resources to the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security who are tasked with maintaining border security,” the group wrote.

Meissner said that extending Title 42 would be a “band aid” solution.

“The real failing here is Congress’s inability — politically and procedurally — to grapple with immigration reform legislation that would make it possible for the executive branch to actually administer the border,” she said.

She said at a minimum, Congress needs to update the laws to include the nuanced reasons migrants may be seeking legal entry, not just asylum.

“Everybody now is trying to apply for asylum, because it’s the only way that they can get access to the United States,” she said. “We actually do have reasons for people to immigrate legally to the country. But our laws are not in any way, set up or aligned with ways to meet those interests.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is rushing additional border agents to El Paso and reassigning officers from customs duties to deal with a new migrant spike in the region, according to Nexstar affiliate, BorderReport.

“(CBP’s) El Paso Sector on the Texas border with Mexico has seen an increase in encounters. In order to process individuals as safely and expeditiously as possible, U.S. Border Patrol agents from Big Bend and CBP officers from the El Paso Field Office are assisting with processing,” CBP said in a statement Monday morning.

Additionally on Tuesday, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, called on the federal government to deploy both financial and physical resources to help county and city leaders deal with the surge.

Reporters at Nexstar El Paso affiliate KTSM and BorderReport.com contributed to this report.