President Joe Biden’s administration announced on April 1 that it would end on May 23 the public health policy known as Title 42, which allows for the immediate expulsion of migrants who illegally enter the country and was first put into place at the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Yet, a growing number of elected Democrats have now publicly opposed that decision, including Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), who just urged Biden to delay that expiration date until a valid plan to deal with an expected surge of migrants is developed to replace Title 42, the Daily Caller reported.
The addition of Peters to the growing chorus of Democratic voices opposing Biden’s ending of Title 42 is important, given that the Michigan senator serves as chairman of both the Senate Homeland Security Committee as well as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Peters calls for delay of end to Title 42
Politico first reported that Sen. Peters spoke out against the impending expiration of Title 42 on Monday while addressing reporters on Capitol Hill.
“Unless we have a well-thought-out plan, I think it is something that should be revisited and perhaps delayed,” Peters said. “I’m going to defer judgment on that until I give the administration opportunity to fully articulate what that plan is. I share the concerns of some of my colleagues.”
The powerful Democratic senator went on to say that his Democratic colleagues were “right to raise questions” about the announced phase-out of the Title 42 policy and added, “The senators have to take a position they think is best for their state and so that’s what they’re doing.”
At least 10 Democrats on record in opposition to end of Title 42
Of those colleagues with concerns referenced by Peters, four are incumbent senators facing tough re-election battles in November, including Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
It isn’t just vulnerable incumbents speaking out, though, as the Washington Examiner reported that at least 10 elected Democrats, mostly in the Senate, have publicly gone on record in opposition to President Biden’s planned ending of Title 42 and with concerns of what the aftermath of that policy decision will look like, whether in terms of political or public health-related ramifications.
Aside from Sen. Peters and the four facing re-election in November, the Democratic opposition also includes Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jon Tester (D-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and in the House, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The Examiner further noted that several other House Democrats have also signaled their opposition but haven’t necessarily issued public statements of the sort.
Democrats quietly lobbying Biden WH to delay Title 42 end date
Meanwhile, The Hill reported Tuesday on what appears to be a quiet effort by some Democrats to convince the White House to back off from its announced end date for Title 42 — again, at least until some sort of actual plan to handle the anticipated migrant surge is put into place.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but there’s a lot of lobbying,” one unnamed senior Senate Democratic aide said, and added that Biden should just “Extend it and move on.” That aide also begrudgingly admitted that Republicans had won the messaging fight on this particular issue.
“I think it is almost certain they will either have to change their ruling on Title 42 or come up with something else that is going to address what will otherwise be a very critical problem at the border,” another top Senate Democratic aide explained. “Seeing how we’ve been unable to come up with a successful Plan B over the past two years … I think pushing back the Title 42 rescission is probably the more likely outcome.”