The Biden administration is facing new resistance to its plans to end enforcement of a Trump-era rule that critics say will lead to a new crush of tens of thousands of illegal migrants.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an end to Title 42, which authorized customs and border agents to immediately deport most people caught crossing illegally into the U.S. due to the pandemic.
But afterward, several experts, as well as lawmakers, expressed dissatisfaction with the decision because they said massive numbers of migrants had assembled at various locations in Mexico and Central America to prepare to cross into the U.S. when the rule was lifted.
Now, the Biden administration is facing new, bipartisan pushback as a group of Democratic and Republican senators have joined forces to demand the White House reverse course.
The Daily Wire reports:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) led a group of five Democratic and six Republican senators in introducing a bill Thursday to block the Biden administration from ending Title 42, which allows border enforcement to turn away migrants at the southern border over COVID-19 concerns.
Lawmakers say that ending the policy, as the Biden administration plans to do in late May, will leave border communities unprotected, as well as result in a massive influx of migrants that the U.S. government is not prepared to manage.
“Arizona communities bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure at our border, so we’re stepping in and protecting border communities by ensuring the Administration works hand-in-hand with local leaders, law enforcement, and non-profits to put a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42,” Sinema said in a statement.
Lankford said: “The Biden Administration is declaring the pandemic over on our southern border but still active on our healthcare workers, military, and travelers. Department of Homeland Security intel projections show that potentially a million people will illegally cross the moment Title 42 is lifted.
“But instead of a workable replacement plan, the only plan the Biden Administration seems to have is moving people faster into the interior of the country,” he added.
“They cannot have it both ways. If they think it’s safe enough to lift Title 42 at the border, then it must be safe enough to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency on the whole country,” he said. “But when we drop Title 42 at the border, DHS must also implement a workable solution to expel migrants.”
Earlier, Sinema was joined by Arizona’s other Democratic senator, Mark Kelly, in a letter to Biden asking him to change his mind.
After the CDC’s announcement, several GOP-controlled states united in a lawsuit to stop the Biden administration from lifting Title 42.
“Missouri, Arizona, and Louisiana filed suit against the Biden Administration for rescinding Title 42 amid one of the worst border crises in this country’s history. Title 42 is a crucial tool for controlling the influx of illegal aliens at our Southern border,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement on Monday.