Biden’s Own DHS Secretary Very Concerned About Potential Biden Decision

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Title 42 was issued by the Trump administration as a public health measure that allows the DHS to rapidly deport migrants based on public health grounds.

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Two million migrants crossed into the United States from Mexico in the fiscal year 2021, and authorities seized more than $3.31 billion in counterfeit goods, over 319,000 pounds of marijuana, more than 190,000 pounds of methamphetamine, and more than 97,000 pounds of cocaine.

Twenty-nine thousand nine hundred and six people were arrested at the southern border in March alone, the most since March 2000.

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Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), reportedly told Congress that he’s concerned about plans to lift Title 42 in May, citing potential immigration spikes.

A source familiar with the matter told Axios that Mayorkas is frustrated with the handling of the CDC’s decision to lift the mandate. He believes a large influx of migrants will follow its repeal. Mayorkas is said to have also told Congress members that lifting Title 42 presents numerous challenges.

Axios spoke with Congressional members who expressed concern about the administration’s capacity to handle an influx of migrants if the policy is suddenly rescinded after Mayorkas explained DHS’ current plans.

According to Marsha Espinosa of the Department of Homeland Security, “Title 42 is a public health authority — not an immigration authority — and [Mayorkas] defers to the public health experts at the CDC for any decisions related to it,” Axios reports.

“As he has also repeatedly said, we anticipate an increase in migrant encounters after the lifting of Title 42, and he is leading a whole-of-government response to apprehend, process and remove from the country those who are not eligible for relief,” Espinosa said, according to Axios.

As Mayorkas said on CNN, “plans” are in place.

“We are executing on those plans,” Mayorkas said, CNN reported. “I think we have to be very mindful of the fact that we are addressing enemies, and those enemies are the cartels and the smugglers, and I will not provide our plans to them. We are going to proceed with our execution, carefully, methodically, in anticipating different scenarios.”

As a result of the coming termination of Title 42, the Biden administration has received pushback from both parties.

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“We should not end Title 42 until we have a detailed plan in place,” Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running as a Democrat to fill Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, told Politico “And look, we don’t only need a long-term and detailed plan here for ending Title 42, but we still need to fix our broken immigration system as a whole.”

Republicans and five Senate Democrats recently worked together to block the end of the policy.

Border security advocates say Title 42 is a necessary tool to keep illegal immigrants and criminals out of the country. Democrats have joined their Republican counterparts in blasting the administration for the lack of a plan to deal with possible surges in migration.

Both sides of the aisle are expressing opposition to rescinding a policy that permitted migrants to be expelled without the right to apply for asylum which was enacted under the Trump administration.

Despite a potential increase in illegal immigration after lifting Title 42, the administration didn’t change its approach – but it shifted its public messaging.

The Biden administration intends to bring border enforcement back to its pre-pandemic levels, which immigration advocates and officials say will make crossing the border more difficult, not easier.

In contrast, White House officials have begun to telegraph that their response to Title 42 actually calls for stronger immigration enforcement, something that immigration and border security experts have long advocated.

“We have immigration laws that existed before Title 42,” said National Immigration Council policy counsel Aaron Reichlin-Melnick.

“It’s very easy to forget that but Title 42 has barely been around for two years.… There are a lot of people who seem to think that ending Title 42 means adopting a blank slate of immigration policies, but there are laws and policies that are on the books that I will note have been used for people who can’t be expelled under Title 42 and that are going to be used a lot more after Title 42 ends.”

In March, Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would increase its logistical response at the border for shelter, transportation, and personnel. A team such as this is needed both to take in asylum seekers and to commence deportation proceedings.

While lawmakers have been largely uninterested in the administration’s plans, the White House has said that a surge in resources would be needed to deport any migrant without reason to remain in the country, and to prosecute repeat illegal border crossers.

According to the administration, the border enforcement should be based on immigration law rather than the purported basis of Title 42, public health policy.

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“Let me reiterate again – Title 42 is not an immigration authority. It was a public health directive determined by the CDC. With Title 42 in place, a significant percentage of migrants have re-attempted to enter the United States illegally following their rapid expulsions because they were not placed in immigration proceedings, not processed through our system, and ultimately faced no consequences for attempting to re-enter the country illegally,” a White House spokesperson said to reporters.

During private discussions with allies, the administration argued this was a tougher stance on immigration.

Returning to Title 8, as regular border processing is known, will allow the United States to fix at least two major flaws in the Title 42 policy: its failure to prevent repeat border crossings, as well as its failure to implement an effective asylum system.