April 14, 2022

Judiciary Republicans Push for Hearing on Title 42 Public Health Order, Impact on Border Crisis

BUTLER COUNTY, IOWA – Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are demanding a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the potential consequences at the southern border of the Biden administration’s decision to rescind the Title 42 Public Health Order, which even some Democrats have warned will likely exacerbate the border crisis.
 
“We share the concerns raised by our Democratic colleagues and are troubled by the potential consequences of rescinding Title 42 without a detailed plan in place to effectively deal with the aftermath,” the senators wrote. “…we believe it is important that DHS develop an effective contingency plan, share the details of the plan with Congress, and come before the Judiciary Committee to discuss the plan and answer any questions committee members of both parties may have.”
 
In their letter to Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the committee Republicans note that there are already around 7,000 encounters per day with illegal border crossers and that the country is on track to break the all-time record for illegal border crossings—that was set last year. The senators also extensively quote concerns about rescinding Title 42 raised by Democratic senators like Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona.
 
The committee Republicans are specifically seeking a hearing with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials before the Biden administration’s announced date of rescission on May 23, 2022.
 
Every Republican member of the committee signed the request. In addition to Grassley, that includes Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
 
Full text of the senators’ letter follows or can be found HERE.
 
April 14, 2022
 
VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION
The Honorable Dick Durbin
Chair
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
 
Dear Chair Durbin:
 
We write today to request a hearing of the full committee related to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) development and implementation of a plan to respond to a potential influx of migrant crossings at the southern border after of the rescission of the Title 42 public health order on May 23rd.
 
Termination of the Title 42 order will likely result in a large influx of migrants at the southern border – larger than the already record levels of illegal immigrant crossings currently taking place along the border. U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz recently stated that there are already approximately 7,000 encounters per day with illegal immigrants crossing the border, and that the number of encounters is likely to pass the 1 million mark for the first 6 months of FY2022 alone.[1] That puts the United States on track to break the all-time record for illegal border crossings that was set just last year. With current daily crossings already happening at a record pace, it’s even more concerning that DHS officials have acknowledged the possibility of up to 18,000 encounters per day once Title 42 is rescinded.[2]
 
Given this reality, it is imperative that DHS have an effective and detailed plan in place to deal with such an influx before Title 42 is terminated. This is not a partisan issue, and senators of both parties have raised concerns about the Administration’s recent announcement that it will rescind the Title 42 order in May.  
 
Senator Sinema has noted that the “decision to announce an end to Title 42 despite not yet having a comprehensive plan ready shows a lack of understanding about the crisis at our border.”[3] Senator Kelly argued that it is “unacceptable to end Title 42 without a plan and coordination in place to ensure a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border” and that “it’s clear that this administration’s lack of a plan to deal with this crisis will further strain our border communities.”[4]
 
Senator Hassan has stated that “Ending Title 42 prematurely will likely lead to a migrant surge that the administration does not appear to be ready for.”[5] Senator Manchin has called the decision to terminate Title 42 at this point in time “frightening,”[6] and Senator Cortez-Masto has noted that the Biden Administration’s current course of action on Title 42 “is the wrong way to do this and it will leave the administration unprepared for a surge at the border.”[7] She went on to note that “the administration is acting without a detailed plan.”[8] Senator Warnock has pointed out that “this is not the right time, and we have not seen a detailed plan from the administration.”[9]
 
We share the concerns raised by our Democratic colleagues and are troubled by the potential consequences of rescinding Title 42 without a detailed plan in place to effectively deal with the aftermath. We have all consistently raised our own concerns regarding the situation at the southern border, and some of us also represent border states that continue to be severely impacted by the unprecedented levels of illegal migration to the southern border.
 
As such, we believe it is important that DHS develop an effective contingency plan, share the details of the plan with Congress, and come before the Judiciary Committee to discuss the plan and answer any questions committee members of both parties may have.
 
We appreciate your consideration of our request and look forward to a hearing on this topic in the near future – and certainly before the Title 42 order is rescinded on May 23rd.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
-30-
 
 



[1] Mark Lungariello, US on track to hit 1M border encounters in first 6 months of fiscal year, New York Post, March 29, 2022, https://nypost.com/2022/03/29/us-on-track-to-hit-1m-border-encounters-in-first-6-months-of-fiscal-year/
[2] Eileen Sullivan, Homeland Security Is Making Plans to Handle a Record Surge of Migrants, New York Times, March 29, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/29/us/politics/title-42-us-border-crossings.html
[3] Press Release, Sinema & Kelly on the Biden Administration’s Decision to End Title 42, Office of Senator Kyrsten Sinema (April 1, 2022), available at https://www.sinema.senate.gov/sinema-kelly-biden-administrations-decision-end-title-42
[4] Id.
[5] Tweet by Senator Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan), April 1, 2022, https://twitter.com/SenatorHassan/status/1509936999267983364
[6] Rebecca Beitsch and Rafael Bernal, Vulnerable Senate Democrats undercut Biden on Title 42, The Hill, April 7, 2022, https://thehill.com/latino/3261056-vulnerable-senate-democrats-undercut-biden-on-title-42/
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Id.