Five Senate Democrats co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to expand Title 42. This is the latest indication of opposition from moderate Democratic opposition against the Biden administration’s decision to end the public healthcare order, amid concerns that it could cause a surge in migration at the border.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), implemented the order in March 2020. It has been used by both Trump and Biden to quickly expel most migrants at the border.
Last week, the CDC announced that it would end the order on the 23rd of May. This immediately sparked fears on both sides of the aisle — including from the Biden administration — that it will cause an increase in migration at the border, on top of the massive numbers that Border Patrol encounters each day.
Thursday’s legislation would allow Title 42 to be extended for an additional 60 days and require that the Department of Homeland Security submit a plan for dealing with a post-Title 42 migration.
This bill does not include Republicans like Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), but also includes a number Democrats: Sens Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jon Tester, D.Mont. and Joe Manchin, D.W.Va. and Maggie Hassan.
All of these Democrats have already spoken out against the bill. Manchin called the decision to end Title 42 “frightening”. This week, Tester said he was “strongly opposed to” the move. Hassan however stated that ending Title 42 “will likely lead to an migrant surge that does not seem to be anticipated by the administration.”
Kelly stated that the Biden administration made a mistake by setting an end date on Title 42 without having a comprehensive plan. Kelly was speaking in support of Thursday’s legislation.
Sinema stated that Arizona communities are the ones most affected by the failure of the federal government at their border. Therefore, we are stepping in to protect border communities and working with local leaders, law enforcement and non-profits in order to create a comprehensive plan before Title 42 is lifted.
Other than those sponsors, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) reportedly stated that it was “the wrong moment” to end the order. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto also opposed the move. Both Democrats are in close re-election races.
If all Democrats opposed to the move vote for it, along with all Republicans, it would reach 57 votes, just short of the 60 required to end a filibuster.
It is the strongest example of bipartisan opposition to Obama’s immigration policies, which has divided lawmakers along party lines.
A $10 billion COVID-19 relief measure has been stalled in Senate. Republicans have unified over a push to vote on an Amendment to Bar the Administration from Ending Title 42. This amendment is likely to be supported by some Democrats.