Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and several other Republicans introduced legislation Tuesday to codify a Trump-era virus control protocol that allows U.S. border authorities to remove migrants quickly in the interest of public health.
Invoked by the Trump administration in March 2020 and kept in place by President Joe Biden, the measure, known as Title 42, aims to stem the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
President Biden is considering ending the virus control policy, already weakened by his administration.
The Republican proposal, dubbed the “Securing the Homeland from International Entrants with Life-threatening Diseases [SHIELD] Act,” would extend Title 42 pandemic control protocols.
On Tuesday, Cruz declared in a statement:
Title 42 has been an integral and extremely successful measure to protect America’s borders and our people during the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic. If the Biden-Harris policy for open borders is intended to reverse the Trump Administration’s success in securing our border, encourage illegal immigration, and create an unprecedented crisis, it’s certainly working.
“As we come out of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we need to continue securing our borders, not throwing open flood gates to people who could carry the deadly virus or its dangerous new variants,” the Texas senator added.
Republican Sens. Josh Hawley (MO), Tom Cotton (AK), Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Barrasso (WY), and Bill Hagerty (TN) are co-sponsoring the bill.
“The Biden administration shouldn’t sacrifice the health of U.S. citizens to shield illegal immigrants. Our bill simply upholds successful immigration policies that protect Americans from the coronavirus and its variants,” Sen. Cotton stated.
“Ending Title 42 is just another step in Joe Biden’s open border agenda. Title 42 is the last line of defense [immigration agents have] to address this historic border crisis,” Sen. Blackburn added.
Noting that the Biden administration has already “watered-down” Title 42, Sen. Hagerty noted that ending the policy “is not only anti-border-security, but anti-science.”
Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) will introduce similar legislation in the House.
“Title 42 is the only policy keeping Biden’s border crisis from becoming an unmitigated, uncontrollable catastrophe,” she stated.
Amid a surge of migrants that has recently increased to monthly peaks not seen in two decades, President Joe Biden is considering eliminating Title 42 by the end of July, Axios recently revealed.
The Biden team has already weakened the measure by granting Title 42 exemptions to the record number of unaccompanied alien children, some families, and single adults deemed vulnerable.
Title 42 “has been applied to less than half of family encounters,” Axios reported in June, later adding, “The administration also has set up a process for exempting more migrants from Title 42 out of humanitarian concern.”
On Friday, Biden issued a new policy that prohibits the deportation of most migrant women caught crossing the border illegally while pregnant, nursing, or who have given birth within the prior year.
“Given the unique needs of this population, we will not detain individuals known to be pregnant, postpartum or nursing unless release is prohibited by law or exceptional circumstances exist,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tae Johnson said.
Referring to the change Friday, the Washington Post conceded:
The policy adds to the growing list of immigrants exempt from arrest or deportation for violating civil immigration laws. Critics have said that Biden is abandoning his responsibility to enforce U.S. laws, but the president has said he wants a more humane approach to immigration, especially for parents and children arriving in increasing numbers from regions such as Central America.
Meanwhile, Biden officials insist the border is closed, an assertion that even some of the Democrat-allied corporate media outlets are having trouble believing.
Democrats, immigration activists, and human rights groups have been lobbying the Biden team to eliminate Title 42, asserting that it is inhumane and has nothing to do with the pandemic.
The Biden administration and pro-immigration groups have blamed Title 42 for high recidivism rates fueling the migrant surge.
Traditional penalties for repeat border crossers, such as jail time, do not apply to migrants removed under Title 42, allowing illegals an unlimited number of attempts to sneak across the border.
Under Biden, border authorities have made it easier for some migrants to make repeated attempts to sneak into the U.S. by merely removing Central Americans back to the five-yard line in Mexico, rather than flying them to their home countries thousands of miles away like the Trump administration.