During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Republicans had been the ones to push for an end to the Title 42 border policy, but the record demonstrates the opposite.
A reporter asked Jean-Pierre whether the Biden administration would keep or lift Title 42, a public health measure used to easily turn illegal migrants away at the border during the COVID-19 pandemic, even after President Joe Biden ends the coronavirus public health emergency in May.
“What House Republicans were trying to do is they were trying to really barrel toward abruptly and immediately ending Title 42,” Jean-Pierre told the press. “And what we’re trying to do was to make sure that there was an orderly process to manage … the situation at the border in a way that was, again, orderly and effective.”
What Really Happened?
In December, the Supreme Court blocked the expiration of Title 42 after Biden sought to end the order.
U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in the court brief calling for an end to Title 42 that the Biden administration is aware “that the end of the Title 42 orders will likely lead to disruption and a temporary increase in unlawful border crossings. But the solution to that immigration problem cannot be to extend indefinitely a public-health measure that all now acknowledge has outlived its public-health justification.”
While Biden was calling for Title 42 to end and taking legal steps to do so, Republicans argued that the policy needed to remain in place.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., joined Fox News and said ending Title 42 would lead to a series of “catastrophes.”
“If you think the Biden-Harris border crisis is dire now, just wait until they end #Title42,” Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter last March. “This administration is hell-bent on opening the flood gates of illegal immigrants into our country, and their deliberate neglect of our border is a grave national security threat.”
Last April, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., spoke on the House floor and called on Democrats to back the “PAUSE Act of 2021,” intended to address the crisis at the southern border and keep Title 42 in place. In May, then-Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., said, “communities need it, the Border Patrol needs it,” when discussing Title 42.
Now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., celebrated the news that a judge had temporarily blocked the expiration of Title 42 last April, but called on Biden to keep the measure in place.
“After spending today at the border in Eagle Pass, Texas, I can tell you it is more important than ever for the president to take immediate action to keep Title 42 and stop the border crisis his own policies created,” McCarthy tweeted.
Days before the Supreme Court blocked the expiration of Title 42, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted, “Title 42 ends in two days. It’s the last line of defense to combat rampant illegal immigration. And what are Democrats in the House doing today to stop it from ending? Nothing.”
In December, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called on Biden to leave Title 42 in place during an interview on Fox News, adding that when “Title 42 goes away as a deportation tool, you’re gonna double the number of illegal immigrants coming into the country in about a week.”
Title 42 remains in effect for now, even as record numbers of illegal aliens continue to cross America’s southern border.
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