The Biden administration recently announced it would end a Trump-era border policy called Title 42 in May. Certain modern Democrats have joined Republicans in requesting the policy be put back in place.
Title 42 was originally put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, it resulted in 1.7 million immigrants being expelled from the U.S. without a court hearing or a right to seek asylum.
The CDC announced that Title 42 was no longer needed to protect the public from the spread of COVID. The Biden administration has leveraged this as reasoning for ending the policy.
Five Democratic senators and two House Democrats are requesting Title 42 to stay in place. Speaking out against the decision may be advantageous for moderate Democrats as midterm elections are right around the corner.
The Biden administration has had a moderate immigration plan; however, many Republicans argue that Democrats want open borders and that the immigration approach has been too lax.
On the flip side, other Democrats and immigration advocates wish Title 42 had ended sooner. If it had, it wouldn’t have interfered as much with midterm elections, which have complicated the decision to end Title 42. What’s more, immigration leaders are saying Democrats have allowed Republicans to define the conversation on immigration.
“This issue of Title 42 reminds us that there’s still a lot of room for Democrats to be clear about both their politics and also their moral grounding. I definitely think that this could have been handled differently, and we would not be in the challenging political place that we’re in,” said Greisa Martínez Rosas, executive director of the immigrant advocacy group United We Dream.