Ten Democrats have broken ranks with President Biden to side with the GOP over the ending of Title 42, a Trump-era border policy that allows for expedited deportation of migrants and prevents them from seeking asylum.
“Right now, we have a crisis on our southern border. Right now, this administration does not have a plan. I warned them about this months ago,” Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., told Fox News over the weekend. “It’s going to be, to be honest, it’s going to be a crisis on top of a crisis.”
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Kelly is just one of several Democrats now speaking out against the Biden administration’s move, with the Washington Examiner compiled a list of 9 other Democrats who have expressed concern over ending the policy.
The list includes Democrats from border states, with fellow Arizona Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, joining Kelly in opposition.
“Arizona communities bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure at our border, so we’re stepping in and protecting border communities by ensuring the Administration works hand-in-hand with local leaders, law enforcement, and non-profits to put a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42,” Sinema said of ending the policy.
Cuellar has led the charge among House Democrats who oppose the move, leading four other Democrats in proposing a bill that would mirror Title 42.
“Some of us are standing up and saying this is the right thing to do for the border,” Cuellar said. “We all believe in immigration reform, but we don’t want chaos at the border. We want law and order at the border.”
But border Democrats aren’t the only members of the party speaking out, with some lawmakers fearing Biden’s low approval numbers on border issues could cost the party in this year’s elections.
“Unless we have a well-thought-out plan, I think it is something that should be revisited and perhaps delayed. I’m going to defer judgment on that until I give the administration opportunity to fully articulate what that plan is,” said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., who is up for reelection in 2022, seemingly shares the same concern.
“Senator Warnock does not support lifting Title 42 at this time,” his office said in a statement this month. “Senator Warnock believes in protecting the humanity of migrants at the border, but before this policy is rescinded, the Administration should present a plan for how it will ensure our border security.”
The list of Democrats speaking out also includes moderates who have at times broken from the president, including Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Catherine Cortez, D-Nev., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Jon Tester, D-Mont.
“Today’s announcement by the CDC and the Biden Administration is a frightening decision,” Manchin said of ending the policy. “Title 42 has been an essential tool in combating the spread of COVID-19 and controlling the influx of migrants at our southern border. We are already facing an unprecedented increase in migrants this year, and that will only get worse if the Administration ends the Title 42 policy.”