A bipartisan group of senators is introducing legislation that would block the Biden administration’s efforts to lift Title 42, a move that is widely expected to create a massive surge of illegal immigrants at the border.
Title 42 is a pandemic-era order that allows border authorities to immediately expel illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the border on public health grounds.
Multiple outlets have indicated the Biden administration is seeking to wind down the policy by May 23 following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) review.
But they are doing so seemingly without a plan to combat the potential consequences.
The senators behind the new bill – five Democrat and six Republican – have indicated lifting the order would create a “mass migration event,” according to Axios.
They are demanding a detailed plan to combat the expected surge.
“It is evident that the current preparations and plans for the end of Title 42 aren’t adequate,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema who drafted the proposal along with Senator James Lankford (R-OK).
“It seems highly unlikely it will be adequate by May 23, because of poor logistics.”
Sinema and fellow Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly issued statements about Biden’s move, with Kelly saying, “This is the wrong decision. It’s unacceptable to end Title 42 without a plan and coordination in place to ensure a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border. From my numerous visits to the southern border and conversations with Arizona’s law enforcement, community leaders, mayors, and non-profits, it’s clear that this administration’s lack of a plan to deal with this crisis will further strain our border communities.”
The Political Insider reported late last week that federal officials have expressed concern that lifting Title 42 would create a “disaster” at the border.
The New York Post reports that authorities “are bracing for an influx of up to 170,000 migrants and up to 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May alone.”
Several Democrats have expressed their own concerns about what could happen if Title 42 is eliminated.
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said he thought it would be a “huge mistake” to do something that “might invite doubling, tripling, quadrupling of the numbers at the border.”
“Just watch the news y’all put out every day, what’s coming across,” Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) told reporters, adding that he opposed lifting Title 42.
Fox News reporter Hillary Vaughn recently relayed from a source at United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “is bracing for as many as 500,000 migrants in the six weeks following Title 42 being lifted.”
Still, the Axios report indicates Democrat concerns about Title 42 may have more to do with the political landscape rather than the border security aspect.
“Vulnerable Democrats,” they write, “worry it will create a political firestorm, and provide Republicans with fresh ammunition just months before the midterms.”
The bipartisan bill – known as the “Public Health and Border Security Act of 2022” – will be introduced by Sinema and Lankford on the Senate floor Thursday.
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