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Rubio, Tillis, Colleagues Urge Biden Administration to Extend Title 42

Apr 7, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and colleagues sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding the dangerous and reckless decision to rescind Title 42 authority. The public health order permits the immediate expulsion of illegal immigrants who attempt to cross our border.
 
“Rescinding the Title 42 Order during a border crisis, and with knowledge of a building surge of illegal immigrants, presents a serious threat to public safety,” the senators wrote.
 
“This decision is being made amidst alarming reports the Administration is preparing for a surge of 170,000 illegal immigrants who will attempt to enter the United States if the Biden Administration rescinds Title 42,” the senators continued. “Other reports state that the Department of Homeland Security estimates up to 60,000 illegal immigrants are already waiting at the border in anticipation of this policy being rescinded.”
 
“This massive surge of illegal immigrants would be on top of a historic influx of illegal immigrants which has occurred during the Biden Administration. These shocking numbers show that, as much as the Biden Administration would like to wish away this crisis, the Administration’s policies have driven a surge to the border by illegal immigrants who believe they can illegally enter our country without consequences. The damage done by the Biden Administration’s failed border policies have served to draw more illegal immigrants to our border with false promises of amnesty,” the senators concluded.
 
The full text of the letter is below. 
 
Dear Secretary Mayorkas:
 
We write to you today regarding the dangerous and reckless decision to rescind Title 42 authority, which permits the immediate expulsion of illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the southern border. This decision is being made amidst alarming reports the Administration is preparing for a surge of 170,000 illegal immigrants who will attempt to enter the United States if the Biden Administration rescinds Title 42. Other reports state that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates up to 60,000 illegal immigrants are already waiting at the border in anticipation of this policy being rescinded.
 
We are also aware of reports that DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) are preparing for up to 18,000 illegal immigrants to arrive each day at our southern border. This would mean over 500,000 illegal immigrants arriving per month at our border.
 
This massive surge of illegal immigrants would be on top of a historic influx of illegal immigrants which has occurred during the Biden Administration. Since President Biden took office, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has had encounters with over 2.27 million illegal immigrants at the southern border. In February 2022 alone, CBP had 169,973 encounters compared to 101,099 in February 2021 – a 68% increase in encounters with illegal immigrants.
 
These shocking numbers show that, as much as the Biden Administration would like to wish away this crisis, the Administration’s policies have driven a surge to the border by illegal immigrants who believe they can illegally enter our country without consequences. The damage done by the Biden Administration’s failed border policies have served to draw more illegal immigrants to our border with false promises of amnesty.
 
Further, these open border policies benefit the cartels who are profiting off the chaos created at the border. While our CBP officers are doing their best to keep our nation safe, the number of illegal immigrants crossing our borders prevents CBP from conducting its critical work to stop drug traffickers, human smugglers, and other dangerous criminals. It also means that more dangerous criminals can evade detection and enter our country, creating significant public safety threats not only for border communities, but for communities across the country.
 
Since the day President Biden took office, he has systematically dismantled the successful policies which helped secure our southern border and deter illegal immigrants. On his first day in office, President Biden pledged to support a massive amnesty for the over 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country. That same day, President Biden shut down the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which required asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until their asylum proceedings instead of being released into the interior of the United States. Despite a court order to reinstate this program, the Biden Administration has fought tooth and nail to shut it down and slow walk its implementation.
 
Now, the decision to end Title 42 will lead to an even greater surge of illegal immigration at our southern border. Ending Title 42 is a dangerous and reckless decision by this Administration, particularly if these reports are accurate that the Administration is preparing for 170,000 illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the US, with up to 60,000 already staged at the southern border.
 
It is clear from public reporting that the Biden Administration has been providing documents and materials to mainstream media outlets outlining the Administration’s plan to rescind Title 42 and open the southern border. As an urgent matter of congressional oversight, we urge you to respond to the following questions no later than April 28, 2022:
 

  1. When did the Administration in fact make the decision to rescind Title 42 authority?
  2. When did the Administration first begin making contingency plans for the rescission of Title 42 authority?
  3. According to public reporting, the Biden Administration has developed a whole-of-government plan to address the impact of ending Title 42 authority, which DHS has called the “Southwest Border Mass Irregular Migration Contingency Plan.” Please provide a copy of this plan, or of whichever components make up this plan.
  4. When making this decision, did the Administration consider the public safety impact that would result from rescinding Title 42? Specifically, did the Administration evaluate how the surge would allow for more drug trafficking, human smuggling, and other heinous crimes?
  5. Did the Administration evaluate the public safety impact of rescinding Title 42 on border communities and communities across the country which will be impacted by this decision?
  6. Do DHS, CBP, and ICE have the necessary staff and resources to handle the expected increase of illegal immigrants that will arrive at the southern border due to rescinding Title 42?

 
Rescinding Title 42 authority during a border crisis, and with knowledge of a building surge of illegal immigrants, presents a serious threat to public safety. We urgently request your swift response to these critical questions.
 
Sincerely,