Four Democratic Senators have written to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), expressing concerns about the December 21 court-imposed deadline to end the border policy based on Title 42 of the U.S. health code that allows for the expulsion of migrants during the pandemic.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the use of Title 42 to expel migrants was unlawful. The Trump Administration began the practice when Covid broke out and the Biden Administration continued it. Sullivan called the practice “arbitrary and capricious” in a 49-page opinion. He did honor a White House request for a five-week delay to move additional resources to the border, implementing the December 21 deadline.
In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that was made public Monday, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) wrote, “Record annual encounters have led to untenable situations.”
Mayorkas testified before the Senate earlier this month that the Administration has a plan ready to go after Title 42 expires, saying, “We are enhancing the consequences for unlawful entry, especially with respect to individuals who seek to evade law enforcement, including removal, detention and criminal prosecution when warranted.”
Republicans, meanwhile, have called on Mayorkas to step down, threatening him with impeachment otherwise when their party takes majority in the House in January.