Dozens of American sheriffs have asked Congress to take immediate steps to maintain the Trump-era Title 42 public health order to avoid even greater chaos at the southern border. Joe Biden has declared his intention to lift the order on May 23.
Law enforcement agencies have warned of a huge spike in illegal border crossings that will result from ending Title 42 enforcement. The public health order was put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and allows border agents to immediately expel illegal immigrants when they are apprehended.
The National Sheriff’s Association sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday. It told the senators that Title 42 is the only remaining policy that can help stop border crossings without COVID testing by “millions of illegal entrants.”
The letter explains that with Biden’s termination of border wall construction and the Remain in Mexico policy, there is “simply no border left.” It says that there are untold numbers of immigrants inbound to the U.S. with unknown health conditions and potentially carrying COVID as well as other diseases.
The sheriffs state that the letter is about Title 42 and so they have not addressed the specifics of the amount of fentanyl, unmarked guns, and ammunition currently flowing into the county as well as the “more than a million migrants” encountered so far in the fiscal year.
Schumer has been a vocal advocate for ending Title 42, calling it a “disastrous” policy for persons coming here to “escape from the horrors” in their home nations.
McConnell has described Biden’s decision to end Title 42 as “outrageous.” He has warned that a “gusher” of illegals will come to the border when it is lifted.
Border officials have said that up to 18,000 illegal migrants per day can be expected when the order is terminated.
The letter from the sheriffs follows the introduction of legislation by a bipartisan group of senators that would delay lifting Title 42 enforcement by a minimum of two months. It would also require the Biden administration to develop a meaningful plan for handling the result of lifting the order.
A recent poll conducted by Morning Consult indicates that 56 percent of all Americans oppose the termination of Title 42.