This is not a good decision.
On Saturday (March 5), Senate Democrats urged President Joe Biden to stop using the Trump-era immigration rule, Title 42, that had been enacted in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to turn back migrants at the border because of the public health emergency.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a joint statement with Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
The statement requested Biden stop using the policy.
“The continued use of Title 42 has created life-threatening conditions for vulnerable migrants, enriched human smugglers, and significantly increased the number of dangerous border crossings,” the statement read. Then the Senators urged the Biden administration to “fulfill its early promise to restore access to asylum and end the usage of Title 42 once and for all.”
Two years after former President Donald Trump enacted Title 42 to expel migrants at the border, the Department of Homeland Security is still operating under the policy.
But since Biden has been in office, his administration implemented an exemption for unaccompanied minor children. On Friday, a Texas judge ruled against that exemption.
Also on Friday, a different judge ruled that migrants could be expelled under the policy, but not to countries where they would face torture or persecution.
The four democrats cited the incident where Haitian families gathered in encampments in Del Rio, Texas, last summer; but were later expelled by Department of Homeland Security agents under the Title 42 policy.
When this took place, Haiti was experiencing political chaos and a natural disaster.
The Senators said, “Turning away families seeking protection from torture or persecution is not who we are.”
The group also mentioned the easing of COVID-19 as another reason the administration should not be using Title 42, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should review their current order given the progress our nation has made in its pandemic recovery.”
Adding that, “As we emerge from this pandemic, it is time for the Administration to reinstate humanitarian protections at our borders.”