At least 10 Democrats in Congress have joined with Republican lawmakers to oppose President Joe Biden’s plan to next month end Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows U.S. Border Patrol to stop migrants from crossing the border to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly has become one of the most recent members of Biden’s party to speak out against the decision.
“Right now, we have a crisis on our southern border. Right now, this administration does not have a plan. I warned them about this months ago,” Kelly said, according to Fox News.
“It’s going to be, to be honest, it’s going to be a crisis on top of a crisis,” he added.
Kelly also visited the border recently, taking to Twitter to address his concerns about ending Title 42.
“I heard directly from Border Patrol leadership about operational challenges and discussed with them my concerns about the administration’s intent to lift Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place. My focus is on ensuring an orderly, humane, and secure border process,” he wrote.
I heard directly from Border Patrol leadership about operational challenges and discussed with them my concerns about the administration's intent to lift Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place.
My focus is on ensuring an orderly, humane, and secure border process. pic.twitter.com/3IGY0opbha
— Senator Mark Kelly (@SenMarkKelly) April 14, 2022
Fellow Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has also spoken against ending the border policy.
“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.
Likewise, Michigan Democratic Sen. Gary Peters has spoken out against ending the measure, arguing that there must be another plan in place before ending Title 42.
“Unless we have a well-thought-out plan, I think it is something that should be revisited and perhaps delayed,” Peters told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “I’m going to defer judgment on that until I give the administration opportunity to fully articulate what that plan is.”
At least seven other Democrats have openly spoken against ending Title 42. They include Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, Montana Sen. Jon Tester, and Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar.
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would be scrapping the Title 42 policy on May 23 after determining that the rule is “no longer necessary.” The CDC said in part:
After considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19 (such as highly effective vaccines and therapeutics), the CDC Director has determined that an Order suspending the right to introduce migrants into the United States is no longer necessary.
With CDC’s assistance and guidance, DHS has and will implement additional COVID-19 mitigation procedures. These measures, along with the current public health landscape where 97.1% of the U.S. population lives in a county identified as having “low” COVID-19 Community Level, will sufficiently mitigate the COVID-19 risk for U.S. communities.