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A couple of days ago, Joe Manchin woke up, opened his closet, pulled out his moderate suit and, within hours, was leading a bipartisan group of legislators demanding the continuation of Title 42. With an expiration date of December 21, the signatories asked President Biden to extend the duration of this article in order to control the situation on the southern border.
The bipartisan group of legislators includes the aforementioned senator from West Virginia, border representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX), as well as Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).
“We have a crisis at our southern border. Never before in our nation’s history have we experienced this scope and scale of illegal border crossings, and we remain concerned that your administration has not provided sufficient support or resources to the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who are tasked with maintaining border security,” the group wrote in a letter explicitly addressed to President Biden.
“We are committed to enacting bipartisan legislation that will allow DHS to effectively implement policies and programs that have been revealed as critical to maintaining operational control over the southern border, and do not involve paroling large numbers of migrants into the United States to undergo months- or years-long processes. These negotiations will take time. In the interim, we urge you to do everything within your power to extend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) Title 42 order beyond the looming December 21st deadline until Congress can act,” added the Manchin-led lawmakers.
While acknowledging that the provision is “imperfect,” they understood that “termination of the CDC’s Title 42 order at this time will result in a complete loss of operational control over the southern border, a profoundly negative impact on border communities, and significant suffering and fatalities among the migrants unlawfully entering the United States.”
What is Title 42?
For a long time, the United States guaranteed the right to seek asylum for people arriving at the southern border and seeking protection. However, this ended in March 2020, when President Trump invoked a little-known provision of the Public Health Service Act (1944): section 265 of Title 42.
Through it, the federal government can take emergency measures to stop the “introduction of communicable diseases,” including facilitating the removal of migrants arriving at the border. At the time, the measure was taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and subsequently to try to control immigration. After January 20, 2021, Biden kept the provision active.
The problems came in October, when a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to end the provision on December 21, which worries border authorities.
Concerns also reached Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), who are seeking to pass their immigration reform, which includes an extension of Title 42, before the aforementioned deadline.
Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.