Four Democratic senators are urging Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reconsider his department’s plans to prepare for the end of Title 42, a major Trump-era policy used to expel certain illegal migrants.
Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Mark Kelly of Arizona, Jon Tester of Montana and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire argued the Biden administration isn’t prepared for the surge of illegal migrants expected at the border when the policy ends, according to a Nov. 18 letter they sent to Mayorkas.
Title 42 — a World War II-era section of public health law that allows for the exclusion of individuals from entering the country when the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines “there is serious danger of the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States” — was invoked at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago.
“Every week, our border agents encounter thousands of unscreened unvetted, and unauthorized entries from dozens of countries,” then-President Donald Trump said as he announced the Title 42 decision on March 20, 2020. “And we’ve had this problem for decades. …
“In normal times, these massive flows place a vast burden on our health care system, but during a global pandemic, they threaten to create a perfect storm that would spread the infection to our border agents, migrants, and to the public at large.”
A federal judge ruled on Nov. 15 that the Biden administration must end Title 42, which has resulted in the expulsion of more than 2 million illegal migrants, on Dec. 21.
The Biden administration has seen record numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 2.3 million migrants at the southern border in fiscal 2022 and upward of 230,000 migrants in October.
“Since the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the Public Health Determination and terminated the Title 42 Order on April 1, 2022, we have expressed concern with DHS’ preparations for the end of Title 42, especially as the situation has deteriorated at times,” the senators wrote.
“Record annual encounters have led to untenable situations. In Arizona, shelters have been forced well beyond capacity,” they said. “This month, El Paso has seen over 700 migrants released directly onto city streets due to overcrowding.
“This is not safe, and creates a dangerous situation for migrants and communities.”
The Democrats posed nine questions to Mayorkas to be answered by Dec. 1.
The CDC attempted in April to end the policy on May 23. At the time, the Democratic senators raised similar concerns, and a federal judge later struck it down after several Republican states sued.
The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment to the Daily Caller News Foundation.