President Joe Biden is coming under sustained pressure from both sides of the aisle over the administration’s handling of the expiration of Title 42, the controversial Trump-era pandemic public health restriction that became a key tool to turn back migrants at the US-Mexico border.
Biden faces the difficult task of showing he can control the border and handle an anticipated influx of migrants humanely, while navigating continued criticism from both Republicans and Democrats:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona independent, railed on the Biden administration over its handling of the policy’s expiration, calling for passage of her bill to give the administration new expulsion authority at the border.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat, expressed frustration about the administration being unable to come up with a “viable solution to prevent an unmanageable surge of migrants at our southern border.”
Nevada Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto, as well as Nevada Democratic Rep. Susie Lee, sent a letter to the president on Wednesday expressing “strong concerns that the federal government is still insufficiently prepared for the reality that Title 42 is coming to an end.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a moderate Texas Democrat, was also critical of Biden’s shift in approach to the border issue, recently telling Politico, “Politically, now the president’s trying to move to the center when it comes to immigration policies – I think a little bit too late, but they’re moving to the center now.”
The end of Title 42 has also remained a target of intense criticism by conservatives.
In a news conference Monday morning, Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott likened the expiration of Title 42 as the laying out of a welcome mat to migrants across the world, signaling America’s borders are wide open.
Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions compared the current migrant situation to the US military’s chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.