U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced the Public Health and Border Security Act, legislation that would prevent the Biden administration from lifting Title 42 border restrictions, which barred entry to at least 1 million attempted border crossings, without a coherent plan in place to stop the inevitable surge of migrants. Rescinding this policy, which the administration intends to do, would send a clear and dangerous signal to anyone who wishes to illegally cross the southern border.
“From the day the president took office, our nation has been experiencing an unprecedented surge at the southern border of individuals who want to enter the United States illegally,” said Thune. “The administration’s decision to lift Title 42, without a legitimate plan in place to handle the flood of likely illegal immigration to follow, is irresponsible, dangerous, and reckless. This bipartisan legislation would send a strong message to the administration that abruptly ending Title 42 would take the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border from a disaster to an utter catastrophe."
Thune spoke on the Senate floor this week about the Biden administration’s reckless decision to end Title 42. Thune recently joined his Republican colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding information on the department’s plans to secure the border once the Biden administration rescinds Title 42.
The bill was led by U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) and is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
The Biden administration recently announced its plans to terminate the Title 42 order on May 23, leaving DHS with inadequate time to provide and implement a plan that would prevent further chaos at the border. Specifically, the bill would prohibit the administration from ending the Title 42 emergency authority until at least 60 days after ending the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. After the end of the national emergency, DHS would have 30 days to submit to Congress a plan to address the impacts of the post-Title 42 migrant influx. That plan must be made in coordination with local governments, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations on the frontlines of the migrant crisis.