Dem Senators Turn on Biden in Bill to Keep Trump-Era Border-Protection Policy in Place


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 By Richard Moorhead  April 7, 2022 at 1:08pm

President Joe Biden is getting the cold shoulder from members of his own party on his dismal border policies.

Five Democratic senators are backing a bipartisan bill to block Biden’s termination of Title 42, a Trump-era immigration policy that allows the quick expulsion of illegal aliens on coronavirus public health grounds.

The Public Health and Border Security Act of 2022 was drafted by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, according to Axios.

Sinema is chairwoman of the Senate’s subcommittee on Government Management and Border Operations. Lankford is the committee’s ranking Repblican minority member.

Lankford said Wednesday the measure might make it through the upper chamber of Congress, according to Axios.

“I do think it has a chance of passing, but it’s going to depend on which half of the Biden team wins out,” he told the publication.

Besides Sinema, the bill’s Democratic co-sponsors are Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona, Jon Tester of Montana, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Besides Lankford, Republican co-sponsors are Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, John Thune of South Dakota, John Cornyn of Texas, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

The bill prevents a sitting president from terminating Title 42 until 60 days after the surgeon general notifies Congress that the coronavirus public health emergency has been ended.

Is the Biden administration bringing on a new illegal immigration disaster?

Title 42 is a section of the federal public health law that allows for deportations of aliens if their presence inside the United States presents a potential threat of infectious disease. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it has allowed illegal immigrants to be deported outside of the byzantine immigration court system, efficiently dealing with illegals who don’t have credible asylum claims.

It was invoked in 2020 by then-President Donald Trump’s administration to deal with illegal immigrants. On Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Wolensky issued a directive announcing the policy of invoking Title 42 would end effective May 23.

That prompted Republican attorneys general in three states to file a lawsuit aimed at keeping Title 42 in place.

Under Sinema and Lanford’s bill, the “Public Health and Security Bill of 2022,” the president would have to provide a written plan to Congress on a plan to deal with an influx of illegal aliens.

If the Title 42 invocation is lifted, the resulting surge of illegals at the southern border could be historic in scale, with leaked documents revealing the Biden administration is planning “broadscale release mechanisms” instead of enforcing immigration law.

Lankford suggested that the Biden administration could use the bill as an excuse to defy the wishes of its open borders supporters and pro-amnesty officials.

“Is it the open-borders part of the Biden administration … or is it the portion of the Biden administration that says, ‘This gives us a good excuse to say those crazy folks in Congress compelled us to do this … and this becomes an excuse for them to not cause this kind of chaos in the border?” he told Axios.

Sinema and Manchin have emerged as Biden’s primary critics on border policy in his own party.

“It just doesn’t seem at all workable that this, that whatever plan they’re working on right now can be ready to implement in a way that is both safe for our border communities and respects the humanitarian crisis that is coming,” Sinema told Axios.

Fox News’ Hillary Vaughn reported last week that Customs and Border Protection sources have indicated the Biden administration is considering reassigning Department of Veteran’s Affairs doctors to treat the expected surge of illegals arriving at the border.

According to Axios, Lankford and Sinema plan to attach their bill’s contents to an upcoming $10 billion coronavirus spending bill, potentially spurring indecisive senators into supporting it instead of holding up coronavirus relief.

However, any amendment related to keeping Title 42 in place could sink the coronavirus spending bill in the Democratic-controlled House, according to The Washington Post.

Political expediency is likely a factor in the Democratic support of the bill in the Senate.

Two of its co-sponsors — Arizona’s Kelly and New Hampshire’s Hassan — face tough reelection contests in November.

CORRECTION, April 8, 2022: This post originally stated Sen. James Lankford’s home state incorrectly.

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Richard Moorhead is a conservative journalist, a graduate of Arizona State University, service member, and guitar player.

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