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Biden Administration to Scrap Title 42 Border Policy Despite Warnings: Reports

The Biden administration is planning to scrap a Trump-era public health policy restricting illegal immigration by May 23 — despite repeated warnings from Democratic lawmakers who represent border states, according to multiple reports.

White House director of communications Kate Bedingfield did not confirm the plans reported by CNN and the Associated Press when asked by reporters Wednesday, referring the matter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Title 42 is a public health directive,” Bedingfield said. “It is not an immigration or migration enforcement measure.”

“We have every expectation that when the CDC ultimately decides it’s appropriate to lift Title 42, there will be an influx of people to the border,” Bedingfield added. “And so we are doing a lot of work to plan for that contingency.”

Title 42 has been in place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and allows border officials to immediately expel migrants who attempt to cross the border without allowing them a chance to claim asylum. The policy has been used to expel migrants more than 1.7 million times, according to official estimates.

Lifting Title 42 would restore border officials’ obligations to take in asylum-seekers until their claims can be adjudicated.

When President Biden took office, he vowed to roll back many immigration policies put in place by the Trump administration, including Title 42. However, multiple state and federal court rulings have kept the policy in place.

Earlier this month, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the order could stay. However, it moved to require officials to hold more migrant families during screening to ensure they will not be sent back to a country where their lives could be in danger.

On March 11, the CDC announced that Title 42 no longer applied to unaccompanied migrant children.

Democratic critics and activist groups have blasted Title 42 as inhumane. However, the expected rise in attempted border crossings has led to multiple Democratic lawmakers from Texas and Arizona to urge the order to remain.

Texas Democratic Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vincente Gonzalez — along with more than a dozen Lone Star State Republicans — signed on to a Tuesday letter sent to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, warning that ending Title 42 would produce “catastrophic results.”

“We understand that this legal authority is temporary and tied to the COVID-19 public health emergency, but DHS appears unprepared to handle a likely unprecedented increase in apprehensions along the southwest border,” the lawmakers wrote.

They noted that there has been no gradual phaseout of the order, and claimed “its rescission will cause a sharp spike in the number of migrants that DHS will have to fully process under Title 8.”

“In fact, Axios reports that DHS estimates that 25,000 migrants reside in Mexican shelters just south of the U.S. border, waiting for Title 42 to end. And some U.S. intelligence estimates reportedly indicate that an influx of more than 170,000 migrants could materialize if the public health authority is lifted,” the letter continues.

“If the CDC were to rescind its Title 42 order at this time, Border Patrol facilities and local communities would be forced to absorb at least double the current number of migrants, likely with catastrophic results.”

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, both Arizona Democrats, issued a similar warning last week, citing the projected impacts on local communities and border security.

“Given the impacts that changes to Title 42 could have on border communities, border security, and migrants, we urge your Administration not to make any changes to Title 42 implementation until you are completely ready to implement and coordinate a comprehensive plan that ensures a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border,” they said.

“Different sectors and border communities will require different resources, so the plan must be developed in consultation with local government leaders and community organizations, including those providing services to migrants. Such groups in Arizona have not been consulted about Title 42 changes. Until the administration does that type of consultation with local government leaders and nonprofits along the border, it is premature to consider changes to Title 42 authorities.”

This month, the White House indicated it would only rescind the order if the CDC determined it should be scrapped.

The Department of Homeland Security has recently made several efforts to amp up its manpower along the southern border, requesting help from the Pentagon, CBP and internal volunteers.

With the lifting of the order, officials are bracing for a potential influx of up to 170,000 people, with up to 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May alone.

The number of attempted border crossings for the month of March is expected to be high, and will likely surpass February’s number of 165,000, as hundreds of Ukrainian and Russian refugees have joined migrants looking to cross the southern border.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Council, warned on Tuesday that removing Title 42 will put the US in “serious trouble.”

“Illegal immigration is going to explode even more if Title 42 goes away,” Judd told The Post, adding that 52% of all immigrants at the southern border this month were directly expelled under the order.

7 Comments
  • Garfield says:

    When will “We The People ” stand up and take back our our country?

  • Hogs Kuiper says:

    They Need to Push Amendment 25 and get that Communist Out Now!

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