WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined several of his colleagues in urging the Biden Administration to keep Title 42 in place. On April 1, the White House announced it would be terminating Title 42, one of the strongest tools the federal government has to deter the record-breaking flow of illegal immigration. This announcement came days after U.S Customs and Border Patrol announced that the U.S. will soon hit one million illegal border crossings just six months into the fiscal year. Title 42 was responsible for over half of the expulsions at our southern border in February and the Department of Homeland Security has estimated that up to 18,000 migrants could be apprehended at the border each day if Title 42 were to be lifted.
“I’m not sure how COVID is no longer considered a threat to the health of thousands of migrants arriving our southern border each day yet it’s enough of a public health concern that tours of the U.S. Capitol are limited to just 15 constituents a week per Congressional office,” said Joyce.
According to new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data, there were 164,973 migrant encounters at our southern border in February, up 7% from January.
- That is a 63% increase from the previous year.
- 30% of those encountered at the border last month had also been encountered at least once in the past 12 months.
- 76% of those apprehended were single adults – an 11% increase from January.
- This was the worst February on record in over two decades.
“This Administration’s deliberate rollback of commonsense border security policies has benefitted the cartels and human traffickers far more than it has immigrants,” said Joyce. “President Biden should visit the southern border and see for himself how his open border policies put our nation and those wishing to come here at risk.”
You can read the lawmakers’ letter in full here and below:
Dear President Biden:
We write to you regarding your Administration’s decision to rescind the Title 42 public health authority on May 23, 2022. The recission of Title 42 will exacerbate the ongoing border crisis, while putting the health of Border Patrol agents, migrants, and our communities at risk. We urge you to reverse course and keep Title 42 in place.
As you know, Title 42 has been in effect since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. The public health authority gives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the ability to immediately expel migrants that would otherwise be detained in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities or released into our communities in the United States. Your Administration utilized Title 42 through all stages of the pandemic, including in January 2022, when daily COVID-19 deaths were averaging 2,000, as well as July 2021 when average daily deaths were around 215. Rescinding Title 42 at a time when our country is experiencing an average of 572 daily deaths makes little sense.
Under the previous administration, Title 42 combined with a litany of other deterrence policies helped in drastically reducing illegal immigration at our southern border, keeping our Border Patrol agents, local communities, and migrants safe. Unfortunately, your Administration has not used the tools available to it to deter illegal immigration, including by reducing interior immigration enforcement, dismantling the Migrant Protections Protocols (MPP), and releasing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants into the interior of the United States. As a result, Title 42 is the only means left to deter illegal immigration and keep our communities healthy and safe.
Rescinding Title 42 will lead to the worst border crisis this country has ever faced. Your own Administration has admitted it is preparing for up to 18,000 illegal border crossings per day. This would mean approximately 540,000 per month, which is more than twice the number of encounters in July 2021—the highest number during your presidency. This will further overwhelm our Border Patrol agents and overcrowd border facilities. This crisis will make it more difficult for Border Patrol agents to interdict human traffickers, drug traffickers, and other bad actors. Further, as your Administration has embraced catch-and-release, having half a million illegal immigrants flood our border every month and be later released into the interior of the United States will put massive strains on our local communities, including hospitals, that they are unequipped to handle.
For the sake of public health, rule of law, and the security of this nation, we urge you to keep Title 42 in place. We also request an in-person Member-level briefing with senior Administration officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHS on your Administration’s rationale for ending Title 42 and actions it intends to take to improve border security and deter illegal immigration at our southern border.