WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — With a surge of migrants expected soon, Secretary Mayorkas is at the southern border to talk about the Biden Administration’s contingency plans. But lawmakers are warning the end of the Title 42 border policy will be disastrous, and some are proposing legislative solutions.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spent two days touring the border ahead of the end of Title 42, a border policy that allows agents to expel migrants quickly.
“The border is not open. It has not been open and it will not be open subsequent to May 11th,” Mayorkas said.
The Biden Administration has been planning for the surge that’s expected when Title 42 ends. They’ve taken measures like deploying troops and sending added resources to speed up migrant processing.
“We are facing very, very challenging times. There’s no question about that. And we have been preparing for these challenging times for quite some time and we’re ready,” Acting Deputy CBP Commissioner Carry Huffman said.
“We are building lawful pathways and we are delivering consequences for those who do not use those meaningfully accessible pathways,” Mayorkas said.
But lawmakers, especially Republicans are critical of those preparations.
Senator John Cornyn says steps like deploying troops won’t actually solve the problem.
“An empty symbolic gesture, and they can’t actually enforce immigration laws,” Cornyn said.
Now a bipartisan group, including Senator Cornyn, wants to pass a bill giving the Biden Administration temporary power to expel migrants quickly – similar to Title 42.
“There have to be consequences associated with illegal immigration, and there has to be some level of deterrence,” Cornyn said. “That is, the signal has to be sent that if you come, you won’t be successful. You have to come through legal channels.”
Unless the bill passes soon, the Biden administration is stuck bracing for the end of Title 42 and looking to lawmakers for long-term solutions.
“We urge Congress to fix our broken immigration system,” Mayorkas said.