According to reports, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for up to 18,000 migrants every day. The Senate’s Homeland Security Committee is planning a hearing on the Biden administration’s intention to abolish Title 42 in May, despite bipartisan opposition and warnings from Republicans on the committee of a “unconscionable” migrant influx. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this week that the public health order, which has been in effect since March 2020 to expedite the deportation of the bulk of migrants at the border owing to the COVID-19 epidemic, will be lifted on May 23.
And at the same time a bipartisan measure to continue Title 42, co-sponsored by five Senate Democrats, is the latest hint of moderate Democratic resistance to the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw the public health directive, which has sparked worries of an influx of migrants at the border. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued the order in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, and it has been utilized by both the Trump and Biden administrations to promptly deport the bulk of migrants at the border.
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The CDC said last week that the order will be lifted on May 23, prompting fears that this would result in a surge in migration at the border, on top of the already large numbers seen by Border Patrol each day. Title 42 would be extended for another 60 days, and the Department of Homeland Security would be required to submit a plan to cope with a post-Title 42 migrant flood, according to legislation submitted on Thursday. Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. are among the Democrats who have signed on to the bill.
Democrats have spoken out against the repeal of Title 42, with Manchin calling it “frightening.” This week, Tester stated that he is “adamantly opposed” to the plan, while Hassan stated that repealing the order “would almost certainly result in a migrant surge that the administration does not appear to be prepared for.” In a statement accompanying Thursday’s legislation, Kelly said, “The Biden administration was foolish to set an expiration date for Title 42 without a comprehensive strategy in place.” “Before removing Title 42, we’re stepping in and defending border communities by ensuring the Administration works hand-in-hand with local leaders, law enforcement, and non-profits to establish a thorough, viable plan in place,” Sinema said.
Apart from the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., has allegedly remarked that ending the order is “the inappropriate moment,” and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has also spoken out against it. Both Democrats are up for re-election in close battles. If all of the Democrats who have come out against the move vote in favor of the bill, as well as all Republicans, it will receive 57 votes, barely short of the 60 required to end a filibuster.
However, it is the most visible example of bipartisan resistance to the administration’s immigration policy, which have mostly divided legislators along party lines. Meanwhile, a $10 billion COVID-19 relief package has stalled in the Senate after Republicans banded together to demand a vote on an amendment that would prevent the government from terminating Title 42, an amendment that several Democrats would likely support.
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It has sparked fears among Republicans and Democrats of a massive migrant flow in the coming months – something the administration has admitted, since it has been prepared for up to 18,000 migrants per day and has openly stated that it expects a migrant influx. Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee sought a hearing on Title 42 and other border security rules, including a recent asylum rule that would allow for faster processing, in a letter to Chairman Gary Peters.
“Both of these choices will surely result in an influx of migrants at our southern border. It’s unclear whether the Biden administration has any measures in place to deal effectively with the predicted rise in illegal immigration this spring and summer as a result of these policy decisions “According to the letter, which was acquired first by Fox News Digital. Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, Rand Paul, R-Ky., Rick Scott, R-Fla., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah are among the signatories to the letter.
“Border Patrol officers are apparently forecasting a flood of illegal immigration that would lead to as many as 18,000 apprehensions per day,” they write, citing the Biden administration’s suspension of Title 42 border regulations. “This rise in illegal immigration is deplorable, and it’s uncertain whether or how an already overburdened CBP will be able to respond safely and efficiently to this anticipated influx.” According to a Democratic committee staffer, Chairman Peters is already arranging a hearing on border security problems in the coming weeks in response to that letter.
Republicans have asked for Attorney General Merrick Garland, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky – as well as the heads of Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services – to testify at the hearing. They claim that “the Biden administration’s policies are directly contributing to the unprecedented amounts of illegal immigration.”
“Administration officials must explain the reasons for their decisions to the American people, as well as their strategies for dealing with the repercussions of their actions.” The decision to hold a hearing on the topic has been met with strong opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Republican states have filed a lawsuit to prevent the injunction from being lifted.
Meanwhile, legislators filed a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would prolong Title 42 by at least 60 days and compel the Department of Homeland Security to submit a strategy for dealing with a post-Title 42 migrant inflow. Sens. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. are among the Democrats who have signed on to the bill.