Senate Democrats Own The Growing Crisis At The Southern Border

Americans Are Smart Enough To See Through Senate Democrats’ Election Year Conversion On Critical Border Security Policies


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “For two years, since the start of the pandemic, a legal authority called Title 42 has empowered the government to simply turn around a large share of the people they catch and send them right back where they came from. Every month, CBP uses this tool to keep tens of thousands of illegal immigrants out of the catch-and-release pipeline and send them back to their home countries. But now, unbelievably, President Biden has announced he’s going to cancel these legal authorities. He wants to rip off the one remaining band-aid that’s preserved some shred of law and order. … The Administration’s decision is so obviously crazy that even a number of our Senate Democratic colleagues who have been marching in lockstep with the President for more than a year are now scrambling to make it look like they’re breaking ranks. Well, I welcome our colleagues who are finally making angry noises about this border crisis. The problem is that their lockstep Democratic votes for over a year helped produce it. For over a year, Senate Democrats have rubber-stamped every single aspect of the Biden Administration’s failed border policy. Not a single Senate Democrat opposed the confirmation of the heads of DHS and HHS who have presided over this crisis. Not a single Senate Democrat voted for commonsense Republican amendments to do things like preserve the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy and defund sanctuary cities. And the cost of their bad decisions gets worse every day.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 4/26/2022)

Democrats Are Fighting Amongst Themselves Over How To Handle The Escalating Crisis At The Southern Border

“Democrats are struggling to find a way out of an entrenched fight over the administration’s decision to lift a Trump-era border policy that has put a spotlight on fierce intraparty divisions. Those tensions, which have simmered over the two-week break, are expected to spill over publicly as lawmakers return to Washington, despite a judge on Monday temporarily blocking the administration from ending the policy known as Title 42. … The growing headache puts President Biden in the middle of competing factions within his own party: He’s facing a revolt from moderates who have rushed to distance themselves from the administration, as well as intense pressure from more liberal Democrats and immigration advocates to stick by the CDC’s decision.” (“Dems Struggle To Contain Fallout Over Trump-Era Immigration Rule,” The Hill, 4/26/2022)

  • “Any move by the administration to try to keep Title 42 in place would likely spark fierce pushback from a coalition of Democratic lawmakers and immigration advocates who long pushed for Biden to get rid of the Trump-era rule, viewing it as inhumane. Those same Democrats have been frustrated by their colleagues who have criticized rescinding it, arguing that they are mirroring GOP talking points.” (“Dems Struggle To Contain Fallout Over Trump-Era Immigration Rule,” The Hill, 4/26/2022)

Some Democrats Have Had Election Year Conversions On Protecting The Southern Border

“Biden faces pressure from vulnerable Democrats to delay end to Title 42” (USA Today, 4/26/2022)

Most Senate Democrats Announced That They Opposed The Use Of Title 42 And Called For Its ‘Immediate Recession’ And All 50 Voted Against An Amendment In 2021 That Would Have Ensured Title 42 Authority Could Continue

All 50 Senate Democrats voted against an amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would have ensured the Department of Homeland Security would continue to have the authority under Title 42 to deport people entering the country illegally. (S.Amdt.3781, S.Con.Res.14, Roll Call Vote #344: Rejected 49-50: D 0-48; R 49-0; I 0-2, 8/11/2021)

SENS. CHRIS COONS (D-DE), CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D-NV), MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO) WITH 31 OTHER SENATE DEMOCRATS: “We oppose your efforts to dismantle the U.S. asylum system and call for immediate rescission of the following policies: … CDC asylum ban: In March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that permits DHS to summarily expel asylum-seekers, upending decades of congressionally mandated procedures and further endangering populations at risk of harm. The CDC order appears designed to further an ongoing agenda to exclude asylum seekers, in violation of Congress’ plain word and intent. The UN Refugee Agency has stated clearly, in the context of COVID-19: ‘Denial of access to territory without safeguards to protect against refoulement cannot be justified on the grounds of any health risk.’ Leading epidemiologists and public health experts have condemned the new policy, stating that it ‘is based on specious justifications and fails to protect public health.’ Human rights and medical groups have developed measures for processing migrants at the border that both protect public health and preserve humanitarian protection. Since March 20, more than 20,000 people, including more than 900 children, have been expelled under the CDC order. Only two people have been permitted to stay in the U.S. to pursue asylum claims.” (34 Democratic Senators, Letter to the Trump Administration, 6/19/2020)

SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D-NV): “I’m pretty clear: I didn’t support Title 42 in the beginning, I don’t support repealing it now until there’s a plan to address the surge [in migration] and address the broken immigration system. Which nobody wants to do.” (“Dems May Get Reprieve From Internal Tension Over Immigration,” Politico, 4/26/2022)

But With November Approaching, Some Democrats Are Suddenly Saying Title 42 Authority Should Remain In Place

CORTEZ MASTO: “I think it's just wrong to do it without a detailed plan. We always know right around summer there's a surge... There is a way that we can actually treat people with dignity when they come to the border and fix the broken immigration system and still have border security, we can do both and we have to focus on both.” (“Sen. Cortez Masto Speaks Out Against Ending Title 42, NBC Las Vegas”, 4/7/2022)

BENNET: “In a statement to Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., said the senator, who is running for re-election this year, ‘has expressed concerns to the Biden administration about ending Title 42 ahead of the expected surge at the southern border, which is already experiencing a humanitarian crisis.’" (“More Democrats sound the alarm as White House plans to scrap Title 42”, Fox News, 4/20/2022)

COONS: “Well, frankly, what I think you're referring to is the announcement that Title 42, which is a public health measure, may be rolled back in a number of weeks. That's something where the CDC declared that they could no longer justify this ongoing practice of expelling folks who come to our border based on the pandemic. In the region where I'm from, we're seeing infections rise. I think Philadelphia, for example, just returned to a mask mandate. So my hope is that that will be reconsidered appropriately. I know that there are both Republicans and Democrats calling for a reconsideration and the administration just announced a plan for how to deal with a possible surge in crossings at the border.” (CBS, CBS’ Face the Nation, 4/17/2022)

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): “I would be very reluctant for the administration to end this Trump policy until they had a real plan in place. I think we are a generous country, but we have to have -- we have to be a country of rule of law. We have processes where we have taken in the Afghan refugees, the Ukrainian refugees. But I would be very worried about this notion that the border would be overwhelmed. And I would really want to hear a specific plan with adequate personnel. And, frankly, I would like to see the State Department to more pressure on some of the countries, particularly the Northern Triangle countries, to try to stop the flow of some of these economic refugees.” (CNN, CNN Newsroom, 3/30/2022)

SEN. MAGGIE HASSAN (D-NH): “Ending Title 42 prematurely will likely lead to a migrant surge that the administration does not appear to be ready for. I'll keep pushing the administration to strengthen border security & look forward to hearing directly from border agents during my upcoming trip to the border.” (Sen. Hassan, @SenatorHassan, Twitter, 4/1/2022)

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): “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. I think this is the wrong time, and I haven’t seen a plan that gives me comfort.” (“Vulnerable Senate Democrats undercut Biden on Title 42”, The Hill, 3/7/2022)

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): “Ending Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place to handle the flow of migrants will put additional strain on federal and local law enforcement and negatively impact the situation at the southern border,” said Tester. “I’m also going to fight tooth and nail to make sure that we address staffing shortages at Customs and Border Patrol and to ensure that agents from the northern border won’t be frequently reassigned to handle any influx of migrants caused by the change in policy. The bottom line is this: we need to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system with a comprehensive, bipartisan solution and I’m calling on my Republican and Democratic colleagues to join me in getting it done.” (Sen. Tester, Press Release, 4/8/2022)

SEN. MARK KELLY (D-AZ): “This is the wrong decision. It’s unacceptable to end Title 42 without a plan and coordination in place to ensure a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border. From my numerous visits to the southern border and conversations with Arizona’s law enforcement, community leaders, mayors, and non-profits, it’s clear that this administration’s lack of a plan to deal with this crisis will further strain our border communities. Despite this decision, I’m going to continue pushing for Arizona to get every additional resource that we can to assist at the border.” (Sen. Kelly, Press Release, 4/1/2022)

SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI): “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 the opportunity to fully articulate what that plan is.” (“Democrats pressure Biden to back off Title 42 decision”, The Hill, 4/19/2022)

SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): “Prematurely ending Title 42 without a comprehensive, workable plan would put at risk the health and safety of Arizona communities and migrants. Today’s decision to announce an end to Title 42 despite not yet having a comprehensive plan ready shows a lack of understanding about the crisis at our border. I’ll continue pushing for transparency and accountability from the Administration to help secure the border, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” (Sen. Sinema, Press Release, 4/1/2022)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “Today’s announcement by the CDC and the Biden Administration is a frightening decision, Title 42 has been an essential tool in combatting 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. We are nowhere near prepared to deal with that influx. Until we have comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform that commits to securing our borders and providing a pathway to citizenship for qualified immigrants, Title 42 must stay in place.” (Sen. Manchin, Press Release, 4/1/2022)


Even Biden Cabinet Members Admit That If They Remove Title 42 Authority ‘There Will Be A Large Increase At The Border’

SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: “Following the lifting of CDC’s Title 42 public health Order, we expect increased border flows, in light of exploitation by smugglers, continued demand for access to the United States…” (Sec. Mayorkas, Memorandum, 4/26/2022)

  • MAYORKAS: “DHS and its federal and community partners have been taking steps for months to prepare for the lifting of Title 42, while operating within a system that is not designed to handle the current volume of migrants nor the increased volume we expect over the coming months. The preparations and deliberate planning detailed in this memorandum will enable us to manage and mitigate known and unanticipated challenges more effectively, while protecting the safety and security of our communities. But notwithstanding the efforts described in this paper, a significant increase will substantially strain our system even further.(Sec. Mayorkas, Memorandum, 4/26/2022)

ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND: “I think all intelligence suggests that there will be a large increase at the border.” (U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing, 4/26/2022)


Homeland Security Officials Are Even More Candid, Warning As Many As 18,000 People Per Day Could Attempt To Cross The Border

‘Crossings At The Southwest Border Have Been Peaking Again In Recent Weeks, And Homeland Security Officials Are Bracing For Those Numbers To Rise Much Higher’

“Crossings at the southwest border have been peaking again in recent weeks, and homeland security officials are bracing for those numbers to rise much higher if the Biden administration decides to lift a public health order that has limited immigration during the pandemic.” (“Homeland Security Is Making Plans To Handle A Record Surge Of Migrants,” The New York Times, 3/29/2022)

‘Border Officials Have Expressed Concern That, Without The Rapid-Turnback Policy, They Will Quickly Be Overwhelmed By Migrants, Leading To Dangerous Overcrowding In Border Facilities And Releases Of People Into The U.S. Who Would Normally Be Jailed Or Deported’

“Border officials have expressed concern that, without the rapid-turnback policy, they will quickly be overwhelmed by migrants, leading to dangerous overcrowding in border facilities and releases of people into the U.S. who would normally be jailed or deported.” (“Biden Administration to Lift Title 42 Border Policy, Officials Say,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/30/2022)

“There has long been concern that lifting the public health order, which gives border officials the authority to quickly expel migrants, including those seeking asylum, will open a floodgate of illegal migration.” (“Homeland Security Is Making Plans To Handle A Record Surge Of Migrants,” The New York Times, 3/29/2022)

“One senior Department of Homeland Security official said there is concern inside the agency that setting a date to lift Title 42 for over a month away will incentivize more would-be immigrants to leave their homes now in hopes of being allowed into the United States in May.” (“Biden Admin To Lift Title 42 Covid Restriction On Border In May, Officials Say,” NBC News, 3/30/2022)



Related Issues: Homeland Security, Immigration, Senate Democrats