WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Leaders are anticipating a huge wave of migrants coming across our southern border next month, because a policy known as Title 42 is set to expire soon. Some lawmakers, however, are trying to stop that from happening.

With less than a month until Title 42 expires, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified in front of two Congressional committees on Wednesday. He says when Title 42 ends, they are expecting a surge of migrants.

Some lawmakers have shared estimates that the expiration will mean up to 18,000 people trying to cross the border each day.

“If we encounter 18,000 people in a day, that would seriously strain our capabilities,” Mayorkas said.

He says his department has a plan to deal with the increase by streamlining asylum claims and boosting their border presence.

Republicans railed against the plan, including Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.

“This is not a plan to stop illegal immigration. This is a plan to accelerate illegal immigration,” Lankford said.

Since the start of the pandemic, Title 42 has blocked migrants seeking asylum at the southern border. Republicans like Sen. Todd Young say lifting the policy next month will cause chaos – and some prominent Democrats agree.

“Keep Title 42 in place and secure the border,” Young, R-Ind., said.

Others are glad to see it go. Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., shared criticisms of the policy.

“This is clearly a Trump-era border suppression policy,” Aguilar said.

“Title 42 didn’t solve anything,” Thompson added. ” It made conditions more dangerous for migrants.”

Lawmakers say the debate over the policy shows there’s a need to take a closer look at broader immigration reform. Sen. Rob Portman says discussions need to go beyond Title 42.

“We have to put in place sensible policies to deal with this crisis,” the Ohio Republican said. “Title 42 is not the long-term solution.”

“We need lawful pass to declare asylum. We need to restore order at the border,” Aguilar said.

Secretary Mayorkas says it’s on Congress to make that happen.

“What we fundamentally need is legislation to fix what everyone agrees is a broken immigration system,” Mayorkas said.