WASHINGTON — In response to news reports, Heritage’s homeland security team warned the Biden administration today that further opening America's southern border next month by ending Title 42 will make Biden’s unprecedented border crisis even worse. Title 42 is the public health authority that has been in place since the pandemic began in 2020, but the Biden administration has consistently ignored it since taking office.
Chad Wolf, visiting fellow and former acting DHS secretary: “The Biden administration's reported move to rescind Title 42 is both reckless and foolish. As the U.S. continues to climb out of this crisis, we need to ensure, now more than ever, that we do not intentionally introduce new COVID cases into the country. Regardless of our progress defeating COVID, we know that the vaccination rate and public health infrastructure in Mexico and Central America is significantly lacking. This is dangerous to all Americans, especially agents on the front lines. Removing Title 42 will also be yet another signal from this administration that the border is open and another reason for illegal migrants to enter the country illegally. It would be unfathomable that the administration would proactively take a step to make this crisis worse.”
Mark Morgan, visiting fellow and former acting CBP commissioner:
“Unfortunately, foolhardiness also appears to be just as contagious for this administration. Make no mistake, the Biden administration is purposefully making it harder for federal law enforcement and immigration officials to do their jobs and expel those who come here illegally. Sadly, this politically motivated action will not just push already sky-high border crossing numbers to the breaking point. It will also needlessly endanger the health and well-being of American citizens throughout the country as they will be exposed to increased numbers of illegal aliens potentially carrying COVID. The public health conditions of the migrants trekking through Central and South America are appalling. Few to none of the nearly 1 million illegal aliens apprehended have been vaccinated, and there is little effective health infrastructure along the route to help prevent spread of the virus. Title 42 has been an effective mitigation tool to reduce the further spread of COVID into the U.S. and has saved countless America lives. With another stroke of a politically motivated pen, this administration is putting the well-being of illegal aliens over the lives of America citizens.”
Lora Ries, senior research fellow for homeland security and former acting DHS deputy chief of staff: “Public health has been a foundational aspect of immigration to America since migrants began coming here. Aliens with health-related issues, including communicable diseases, are inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Once again, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was wrong when he stated that returning aliens based on such a disease (COVID) is not a tool of immigration policy. There is no public health or humanitarian justification for removing Title 42 enforcement authority. It seems there really is no limit to how far the Biden administration is willing to go in putting Americans in harm’s way just to achieve its open-borders utopian state. Vice President Harris keeps saying she’s focused on root causes. We would be happy to brief her on why removing Title 42 would foster a new root cause she’d have to address—though it’s more likely she’d give it as much attention as she has the border.”
Mike Howell, senior advisor for government relations and former DHS oversight counsel: “The Biden administration has directly undermined our nation’s sovereignty, security, and well-being with the Biden border crisis. It is a constitutional crisis when those charged with keeping us safe and enforcing our laws are instead encouraging, facilitating, and rewarding an invasion on our states and local communities. As the administration continues to take steps to make matters worse, their motivations are made plain for all to see. This crisis is by design, and removing what little protections that remain for this country proves that point beyond dispute.”
For more information on the Biden border crisis, visit Heritage’s resource at TheBidenBorderCrisis.com. The website chronicles in one place the various actions the Biden administration has taken to open America’s southern border, undermine the rule of law, and mislead Americans about what is happening at the border.