Democrats are calling out the Biden administration’s handling of the souther border, as lawmakers brace for the crisis to go from bad to worse with the coming end of the Trump-era Title 42 policy.
The May 11 expiration of Title 42, the COVID-era policy that allows the speedy expulsion of illegal immigrants from the U.S., is raising concern from representatives on both sides of the aisle, as several states already face thousands of migrant encounters daily.
Several Democratic lawmakers in border state Arizona accused the Biden administration of unpreparedness, as their state gears up for the influx of migrants seeking asylum in America.
‘The Biden administration had two years to prepare for the end of Title 42 and did not do so, and our state is going to bear the brunt,’ Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., said during an interview with CBS on Sunday.
Sen. Mark Kelly, R-Ariz., told 12News in April that he does ‘not have a high level of confidence’ in the Biden administration’s current plan for after Title 42.
‘On May 11, we expect higher levels of migrants, and I made it clear to them [Biden administration] that it is unacceptable to be releasing people into the streets and communities across Arizona,’ the Democrat shared ahead of pandemic-era policy’s end.
‘The numbers need to match the resources, if they don’t, Border Patrol could find themselves in a position where they are just being overwhelmed by the numbers,’ the senator said.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who launched a 2024 campaign for Sinema’s Senate seat, also warned in a letter to the administration that communities ‘are simply unequipped to handle the surge of migrants.’
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, also joined ‘Fox News Sunday’ to discuss the crisis facing his state.
‘You’ve gotta have repercussions. If you don’t have repercussions at the border, people will see the border as a speed bump,’ Cuellar told Fox News’ Shannon Bream on Sunday. ‘The administration needs to go to the center – and I’ve asked them to go to the center. And I think some of the policies that they’re about to implement brings them to the center. In my opinion, a little bit too late.’
Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., issued a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling for a bipartisan plan to combat the multitude of migrants expected to be encountered at the southern border in the coming days.
‘As the president has decided to lift the [Title 42] order this week, we now face a doubling of illegal crossings at our southern border by some estimates, exacerbating the current humanitarian and refugee crisis,’ the congresswoman wrote. ‘While you have presented a list of ways you plan to address the surge of migration, some of which I agree with, we still have not reached a comprehensive, long-term plan with bipartisan support.’
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources reported about 8,000 migrant encounters a day border-wide in the first days of May, but the Department of Homeland Security is anticipating up to 14,000 migrant encounters daily after the expiration of Tite 42.
Fox News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.