Democrat and Republican members of Congress have found bipartisan agreement on Title 42, a pandemic-era immigration policy used to deter over 2.5 million migrants, as the Supreme Court temporarily halted the Biden administration’s plans to end the policy.
“There is a security and humanitarian nightmare at our border, and ending Title 42 right now will only make it worse,” said Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the former Democrat who switched her party affiliation to Independent earlier this month.
Title 42, implemented under the Trump administration, is a public health rule that allows border agents to quickly turn away migrants at the border. The public health rule was set to expire on Dec. 21, but the Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked Biden’s order to lift Title 42.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2024, supported an extension of the Trump-era policy, a spokesperson for the senator’s office told Fox.
TILLIS, EYEING IMMIGRATION DEAL, WARNS BORDER PATROL WILL ‘LOSE CONTROL OF THE BORDER’ IF TITLE 42 ENDS
Republican senators are also vocal about their support of Title 42, which they say is one of the critical tools agents use to secure the border.
“Fentanyl is pouring across the border, driving American overdoses to record highs,” said Republican Sen. Josh Hawley. “Authorities are predicting as many as 14,000 illegal immigrants every day but the Biden administration refuses to change course.”
“After years of ignoring the laws at our border and abandoning our border patrol agents, Joe Biden is nixing one of the last defenses to keep his border crisis under control,” said Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.
Six House representatives responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the issue, while some Democrats view Title 42 as an imperfect solution to border issues.
Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar, whose border district includes El Paso, referred Fox to a previous statement on the issue. “For too long, members of Congress have championed Title 42 as a ‘solution’ to the challenges we face at the southern border and as a substitute for real and meaningful immigration reform. It is neither,” the congresswoman stated.
On the other hand, Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, who represents a large portion of the Texas border with Mexico, said the public health order is one of the few effective tools law enforcement uses.
“While Title 42 was never intended as a permanent solution, it is the last line of defense for law enforcement along the border. Without it, we can expect illegal crossings to double overnight,” Gonzales told Fox News.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, also spoke out against ending Title 42 and the repercussions it could have on the American public.
“Unfortunately, they [the Biden Administration] don’t seem to have a plan, nor a desire to come up with one. Until they do, we need Title 42 in place to keep the dam from breaking,” Crenshaw said in a statement.
Despite not living in a direct border state, Rep. Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., has seen several buses full of migrants being sent from the southern border to her state of New York.
“Joe Biden has failed to secure the southern border, resulting in over 4 million illegal crossings of our southern border. The end of Title 42 will only make this worse,” Stefanik said. “As our brave border patrol agents brace themselves for the avalanche of more illegal immigration this will incentivize, the Biden Administration is shamefully failing to take responsibility for their actions.”
SUPREME COURT TEMPORARILY PAUSES LIFTING TITLE 42 BORDER RESTRICTIONS: TEXAS, DHS REACT
“In the 11th hour, the Supreme Court temporarily paused the expiration of Title 42 that was set to end tomorrow. This would’ve been a disaster, yet President Joe Biden had no plan to address this,” Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., told Fox. “The administration should utilize every available tool, including Title 42, to combat the worsening border crisis.”
“Now more than ever, Congress must put pressure on the administration to put in place a more permanent strategy to fight the humanitarian and national security crisis at the southern border. This crisis is no joke,” Garcia said.
“President Biden broke our immigration system. Now it is up to him to fix it,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Fox News Digital.
The US Supreme Court on Monday temporarily blocked an order that would lift Title 42, the pandemic-era health policy that has been used to deter migrants more than 2.5 million times.
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The Monday order from Chief Justice John Roberts comes as cities along the US-Mexico border have been scrambling to prepare for an expected influx of migrants in anticipation of Title 42’s end.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz contributed to this report.