It’s not just Republicans who are attacking President Joe Biden over his administration’s decision to end Title 42 provisions at the southern border without a strategy to rein in the border crisis.
Mind you, Republicans are attacking the administration. In fact, three Republican-run states announced Monday that they are suing the administration over its decision to end imposition of the public health order known as Title 42 that allowed for the summary expulsion of illegal immigrants without hearing their asylum cases due to the pandemic.
The Biden administration had kept the Trump-era policy, put into place at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020, mostly intact. Now, the restriction will be ending in May if legal challenges aren’t successful.
However, some Senate Democrats are going after the president now, too — and that could be a bigger threat than anything the Republicans throw at the White House.
(It’s worth noting that the move to end Title 42 comes as the administration is in the midst of a self-inflicted border crisis, something we’ve been documenting here at The Western Journal. We’ll keep covering illegal immigration the way the establishment media refuses to. You can help us by subscribing.)
As Zachary Evans noted at National Review, several prominent centrist Democrats have voiced concerns over the decision to rescind the Title 42 application as Border Patrol apprehensions at the southern border continue to remain at record levels.
In February, there were over 164,000 apprehensions, up from 101,000 a year ago.
West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin called the decision “frightening.”
“We are already facing an unprecedented increase in migrants this year, and that will only get worse if the Administration ends the Title 42 policy. We are nowhere near prepared to deal with that influx,” Manchin said in a Friday statement, according to The Hill.
“Until we have comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform that commits to securing our borders and providing a pathway to citizenship for qualified immigrants, Title 42 must stay in place.”
Both Democrat senators from Arizona — Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema — slammed the move, as well.
Kelly, who’s up for re-election this year, called it “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,” he said in a statement to Fox News.
Sinema, according to Fox, said in a separate statement that “[p]rematurely ending Title 42 without a comprehensive, workable plan would put at risk the health and safety of Arizona communities.
“Today’s decision to announce an end to Title 42 … shows a lack of understanding about the crisis at our border.”
In a Twitter post, Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire said the decision “will likely lead to a migrant surge that the administration does not appear to be ready for. I’ll keep pushing the administration to strengthen border security & look forward to hearing directly from border agents during my upcoming trip to the border.
Ending Title 42 prematurely will likely lead to a migrant surge that the administration does not appear to be ready for. I’ll keep pushing the administration to strengthen border security & look forward to hearing directly from border agents during my upcoming trip to the border.
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) April 1, 2022
Meanwhile, a fifth Democratic critic of the Biden plan, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, told CNN last week he “would be very reluctant for the administration to end this Trump policy until we had a real plan in place. I think we are a generous country, but we have to be a country of rule of law.”
“Have you heard of any plan like that?” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked.
“I have not,” he said.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner: “I would be very reluctant for the administration to end [Title 42] until they had a real plan in place.”
Alisyn Camerota: “Have you heard any plan like that?”
Warner: “I have not.” pic.twitter.com/BK6nsf5m25
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) March 30, 2022
The fact that the Biden administration doesn’t have the support of all of its senators is pretty damning, particularly when you consider all of them save Manchin come from swing states — where a hot-button issue like illegal immigration issue could easily tip a close election.
This isn’t just the usual Manchin-and-Sinema story about standing up to the Democratic Party powers, either.
Kelly is on the ballot this fall, so there’s certainly that element at play.
However, Mark Warner isn’t from a border state and he doesn’t have to worry about re-election until 2026. He’s not usually one of the individuals who gets thrown into the mix whenever “moderate Democrats” start shivving the Biden administration, which should give one an idea of how bad the border crisis is.
Even with Title 42 allowing illegal immigrants to be summarily deported, fiscal year 2021 still saw a record number of apprehensions, with over 2 million crossing over.
That’ll likely increase significantly now that Title 42 is being ended — and it’s not just that the Biden administration doesn’t have a plan to deal with it, it’s that this seems to be the plan.
The optics may be bad for the Biden White House, sure, but they don’t really see the issue. However, even some of the president’s own party members don’t think that’s a tenable way to approach it.
The Democrats, for the most part, have been able to hang together before this. Five dissenters among the party’s 50 senators, though, should be enough that the Biden administration is going to sit up, take notice and start dealing with the border crisis in something other than half-measures.
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