Democrat Senators Raphael Warnock of Georgia, left, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada have added their voices to the growing number of legislators opposed to the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42, which kept out an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants on grounds of the public health risk due to COVID-19. (Tom Williams / Getty Images; Handout / Getty Images)
By Abby Liebing April 7, 2022 at 4:39pm
The Biden administration has announced that it will be ending Title 42, an immigration measure employed by the Trump administration during the pandemic.
In ending this measure, Biden has faced major backlash over this decision from both Republicans and even Democratic senators.
Some lawmakers are even considering putting together a bill to call on Biden to come up with a better plan for immigration, Time Magazine reported.
Title 42 allows the U.S. to keep immigrants from entering due to the health risks of COVID, America’s Voice reported.
But the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, which oversaw and has authority over Title 42, announced April 1 that it no longer would be enforcing the provision starting May 23, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced.
The CDC said it was not necessary “considering current public health conditions and an increased availability of tools to fight COVID-19.”
Under Title 42, which was put in place in March 2020, about 2 million immigrants were expelled, according to Morning Consult.
A Morning Consult/Politico survey showed that this is one of Biden’s most unpopular decisions so far.
Of all voters surveyed, 42 percent “strongly disapproved” of Biden’s decision and 13 percent at least “somewhat disapproved.”
Do you think Title 42 should be kept in place?
Republicans in particular are very critical. According to the survey, 78 percent of Republicans “strongly disapproved.”
Even moderate Democrats are concerned about getting rid of Title 42 and are blaming the president for what they fear will become an even bigger influx of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, The Hill reported.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia said ending Title 42 is a “frightening decision.”
Sen. Mark Kelly, Democrat from Arizona, called it “wrong.” And Sen. Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire said the Biden administration “does not appear to be ready” for the migration surge.
But other Democratic lawmakers have also been voicing new criticism of this decision to end Title 42.
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada also criticized the decision, even though she has previously signed on to letters pushing to rescind the Trump-era policy, The Hill reported.
“This is the wrong way to do this and it will leave the administration unprepared for a surge at the border,” she said in a statement.
Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia has also said that, at the very least, the timing of ending Title 42 is bad.
“I think this is not the right time, and we have not seen a detailed plan from the administration. We need assurances that we have security at the border and that we protect communities on this side of the border,” Warnock said, The Hill reported.
“I think this is the wrong time, and I haven’t seen a plan that gives me comfort,” he added.
Though Warnock has not yet had any major votes related to immigration, his website indicated he has generally supported reforming immigration laws and advocates more oversight of ICE and upholding the status of Dreamers — a reference to those potentially covered by the oft-proposed but never-passed Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, known as the DREAM Act.
A group of five Democrat and six Republican senators is now expected to introduce a new bill. They are calling on Biden to come up with a new plan to prevent an influx of immigration before Title 42 ends, Time Magazine reported.
Immigration has continued to be a sticking point for the Biden administration, with many lawmakers unhappy about the administration’s approach.
In March, Biden’s approval rating for immigration fell again, the Center for Immigration Studies reported.
The issue of immigration is Biden’s worst point, according to polling numbers.
“Just 32 percent approve of Biden’s handling of immigration — his lowest showing across nine subject areas. The president’s handling of the economy, crime, and foreign affairs drew 33 percent approval, but still beat immigration,” the Center for Immigration Studies reported.
With the ending of Title 42, the backlash and disapproval seem to be getting even worse for the Biden administration.