By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) this week led more than 50 of his colleagues in warning the Biden administration that ending a pandemic policy on illegal immigrants will only exacerbate the disaster that is President Joe Biden’s immigration agenda.
The lawmakers this week sent a letter to President Joe Biden expressing deep concerns about his plan to lift Title 42, put in place by the Trump administration in March 2020 that allows U.S. immigration officials to swiftly deport migrants. The COVID-19 mitigation effort is one of the few Trump-era blocks on illegal immigration that has survived Biden’s tenure and the Democrat’s porous border policies.
The president is looking to eliminate the restriction beginning late next month.
Grothman and his colleagues point to the flawed logic in ending a pandemic-era health policy, particularly because Biden and his party have constantly stoked the flames of COVID-19 fears.
“Your Administration utilized Title 42 through all stages of the pandemic, including in January 2022, when daily COVID-19 deaths were averaging 2,000, as well as July 2021 when average daily deaths were around 215. Rescinding Title 42 at a time when our country is experiencing an average of 584 daily deaths makes little sense,” the lawmakers wrote.
Title 42 has expelled nearly 2 million illegal migrants coming from Mexico over the past two years. Still, 2021 was a record year, with 1.7 million illegal migrants entering the United States. The line is about to get a lot more crowded. As Grothman and his fellow House members note, the Biden administration anticipates more than half a million border crossings per month, more than twice the highest number of encounters in a single month during President Biden’s term in office.
“Unfortunately, your Administration has not used the tools available to it to deter illegal immigration, including by reducing interior immigration enforcement, dismantling the Migrant Protections Protocols (MPP), and releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the interior of the United States. As a result, Title 42 is the only means left to deter illegal immigration and keep our communities healthy and safe,” the letter states.
Grothman is traveling to the Southwest border next week. He will be joined by Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) and others. They’ll be in San Diego and Yuma, Ariz. beginning Monday to meet with Border Patrol agents, local law enforcement, and community members to get a firsthand look at the situation on the ground. Grothman said he intends to ask about specifics of the importance of Title 42 as a tool to deter illegal immigrants.
Moderate Democrats are joining the chorus of Republicans concerned about Biden’s plan to drop the health policy.
A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday introduced a bill that would force the Biden administration to delay ending Title 42, according to a story first reported by Axios. The measure, supported by six Republicans and five Democrats, postpones the scheduled May 23 elimination of Title 42 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention until the administration comes up with a plan to deal with the expected flood of illegal migrants.
A new poll by Morning Consult/Politico shows the administration’s announcement is the most unpopular decision of a very unpopular president. A majority of registered voters (56 percent) are opposed. Just 31 percent of Independents support the decision to lift Title 42.