Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) has joined nine colleagues in introducing a bill they said prohibits President Joe Biden from lifting Title 42 immigration restrictions without a migrant surge contingency plan.
The Public Health and Border Security Act of H.R. 7458) seeks to have a plan in place from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in anticipation of the migrant surge at the southern border.
Title 42 is a provision of the Public Health Service Act of 1944 – adding In March 2020, the Trump administration invoked Title 42 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, preventing migrants presenting themselves at the border for asylum from remaining in the country while their cases were processed. The Biden Administration announced it would begin rolling back the policy next month.
“The Biden Administration is not currently prepared for a large increase in border crossings,” Golden said. “Ending these Title 42 authorities without a plan in place to manage the resulting influx of migrants is irresponsible and could create crisis conditions that would be dangerous for both migrants coming to America and Americans themselves.”
Golden acknowledged that while it is not possible for Title 42 to remain in place permanently, Biden must ensure that the DHS and its personnel, facilities, and processes are prepared before the rollback.
“We are seeing thousands of migrants who are waiting to cross the border once Title 42 is rolled back,” Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), a co-sponsor of the measure, said. “To ensure a proper rollback of Title 42, it’s crucial that this White House works hand-in-hand with local, state, and federal stakeholders to establish an orderly process at our southern border.”