So, Biden is repealing “Title 42” – a law that Trump and Biden, until now, used to expel aliens seeking entry into the US (chiefly from Mexico) who come from or through a nation with a serious communicable disease. In short, this is indefensible.
Biden seems intent on permitting a surge of illegal aliens and asylum seekers into the US after May 2022, many from countries with a serious communicable diseases.
Whether from misplaced empathy and emphasis on illegals over US citizens, political payback, or suspect electoral reasons, the move is wrong. Here is why.
Moderate Democrats – and virtually all Republicans – are asking Biden to reconsider the unilateral repeal of Title 42. Since 1944, Title 42 Section 265 has protected US citizens against health threats like COVID.
Why drop use now? Arguments for dropping it are thin. Although COVID variants are in decline, Mexico and Central America are alive with the disease, a major spike in January, and still, a third of Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and El Salvador are still unvaccinated.
Much of Central America is not vaccinated; less than half of Hondurans, Bolivians, Venezuelans – less than a third of Guatemalans. See, e.g., Timeline: Tracking Latin America’s Road to Vaccination.
Yet these are exactly the countries from and through which aspiring border crossers are coming. Notably, right now, the four countries sending most border crossers are – in order – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico – four of the least vaccinated, most sick populations. See, e.g., U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions by Sector.
Notably, the Strict application of Title 42 has produced ten times the number of expulsions in early 2022 as in early 2020. Why? More illegal aliens and asylum seekers are coming and from afflicted countries.
Thus, more than 2 million illegals tried for entry in 2021. In December 2021, 44 percent were promptly deported under Title 42. What if Title 42 had not been there? Some might have been deported, but most would have been released into the US regardless of sickness. See, e.g., Migrant encounters top 2 million in calendar year 2021, on pace for repeat in 2022.
Notably, in the first three months of 2022, the threat of a surge – specifically from the countries mentioned above – has increased 137 percent over the same three months in 2021. That reinforces the idea that, beyond lifting deportations based on potential sickness, the risk grows by higher numbers seeking to cross.
But the arguments against repealing Title 42 are still stronger. Even in pre-COVOID times, serious communicable diseases marred immigration, and the title protected Americans. Diseases like tuberculosis and syphilis are high in countries south of the border and have spiked before.
Perhaps the most vexing part of all this is what we know. Data shows right now, that if Biden repeals Title 42 in May, high current numbers of illegal border crossers will explode. They are preparing to overwhelm the border – not because of natural or political disaster, but because Biden is throwing open the door.
This is the part that is most indefensible. When the sworn obligation of a president is to protect legal Americans, the idea that Biden knows the surge is coming – and will still invite it – is beyond defense.
Even moderate Democrats – several vocally – are against this policy, as they see clearly the resulting surge, potentially infecting Americans, possibly driving a leftward constituency, illegal voting, higher state and local dependency, and costs. See, e.g., Manchin calls Biden lifting Title 42 border policy’ frightening decision’.
In the end, this idea – unilaterally repealing a law, one of the few well-enforced at the border, which has protected Americans – is absurd. Under present circumstances, the idea has no reasonable defense. The risk posed to Americans – public health and safety – may be oscillating but is hardly over.
Bottom line: Like so much of what this administration does, this idea – repealing Title 42 now – is a head-scratcher. At a time when the southwest border is set to be overwhelmed from countries south of the US and via global refugees, we should be increasing vigilance and enforcement, not dropping it.
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