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Senate Republicans Urge Biden To Reverse Course And Keep Title 42 In Place

WASHINGTON – Eleven Republican members of the United States Senate today sent a letter to President Biden urging him to reverse course and keep the Title 42 removal authority in place.

The letter was led by the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).  It was also signed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Lee, (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee).

“We shudder to think about how much worse the situation at the border would have been over the past three years had it not been for the deterrent effect of Title 42,” wrote the senators.  “Over the past three years, the Title 42 order has been a lifeline to the men and women of Border Patrol, who have been working heroically 24 hours a day to secure our southern border amid the worst border crisis in our lifetimes. Even with Title 42 in place, illegal crossings at the border have been at all-time highs.”

The senators noted that since the initial order was issued in March 2020, the authority has been used 2.7 million times, including 1.5 million times in just the past 18 months.  Of the 2.3 million encounters in fiscal year 2022, 1 million were processed under Title 42.

The senators also took issue with and criticized the proposed rule the Biden Administration has put forth, titled “The Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” to address the issue when Title 42 expires. 

“Nothing in this [Biden] rule prevents aliens from making frivolous asylum claims,” warned the senators. “Instead, under the terms of the rule, aliens are encouraged to schedule a time to present at a port of entry through the CBP One mobile application, after which time many, if not most, will subsequently claim asylum. …Whether done through the CBP One mobile app or not, this gaming of our asylum system is a major pull factor that is causing the border crisis in the first place, and until your administration has a serious plan to address that, the authority Title 42 gives will still be necessary.”

“Our border remains under assault,” concluded the senators.  “The resources of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) remain under tremendous strain. The introduction of 13,000 encounters every day to this crisis would be the equivalent of throwing gasoline on an already raging fire.”

Full text of the letter is available HERE.