President Joe Biden’s decision to end the immigration policy known as Title 42 has officials from southern-border states more than antsy.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is now apparently making good on plans to end buses to the border to pick up illegal immigrants and deposit them in Washington, D.C.
But while they deal with the pending fallout, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio wants to know whose idea it was to open the floodgates.
On Thursday, the Florida Republican and other GOP senators in writing to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the “dangerous and reckless decision” to rescind Title 42, which, under the umbrella of COVID-19 protections, allows the federal government to immediately expel illegal immigrants.
The lawmakers note that a surge of 170,000 illegal immigrants is expected to attempt entry into the U.S. if the Biden administration axes Title 42, which is supposed to end on May 23. In fact, DHS estimates that up to 60,000 illegal immigrants are already waiting to cross the border.
Moreover, DHS and the Federal Emergency Management Administration are preparing for as many as 18,000 illegal immigrants to arrive each day at the southern border.
“This would mean over 500,000 illegal immigrants arriving per month at our border,” the senators noted.
Accompanying the letter on Thursday was a bill filed by Republicans to extend Title 42 to February 2025. Joining Rubio in introducing that were Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Jim Risch of Idaho, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Steve Daines of Montana, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Crapo of Idaho, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and Tim Scott of South Carolina.
As for the letter, the senators wrote, “This massive surge of illegal immigrants would be on top of a historic influx of illegal immigrants which has occurred during the Biden Administration,” which has overseen encounters with nearly 2.3 million illegal immigrants since Biden took office.
“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 letter argues.
“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.”
The lawmakers added, “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.”
The Republicans accused Biden of having “systematically dismantled the successful policies which helped secure our southern border and deter illegal immigrants.”
“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,” they wrote.
To figure out what the administration was thinking, Rubio and the other lawmakers want Mayorkas to explain when did the administration decide to rescind Title 42; if the administration considered the impact on public safety, especially weighing how the surge would create more drug trafficking, human smuggling, and “other heinous crimes,” and if it looked beyond the border states in making that determination; and finally, if the nation’s border-protection officers have sufficient resources to handle the expected crush of illegal immigrants.
“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,” Rubio and the lawmakers wrote.
They want Mayorkas to reply by April 28.