Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill to Block Termination of Title 42
FAIR Take | April 2022
Last week, Senators James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Border Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Public Health and Border Security Act to require all COVID-19 related national states of emergency to be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated. They were joined by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), John Thune (R-SD), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
“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 intelligence 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,” said Lankford in a press release. “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. But when we drop Title 42 at the border, DHS must also implement a workable solution to expel migrants.”
“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 nonprofits to put a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42. I’ll continue pushing for transparency and accountability from the Administration to help secure the border, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” added Sinema.
The Biden Administration recently announced that it plans to terminate the Title 42 order on May 23, a move that lawmakers in both parties believe will trigger unprecedented chaos at the border. The Public Health and Border Security Act would prevent the Biden administration from ending the Title 42 until at least 60 days after ending the COVID national emergency declaration. After the end of the national emergency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would have thirty days to submit to Congress a plan to address the impacts of the post-Title 42 migrant influx. That plan must be made in coordination with local governments, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations on the front-lines of the migrant crisis.
Stay tuned to FAIR as we lobby for the inclusion of this type of legislation as part of the latest COVID relief package – we may need your help!