Even with the gradual approach, an increase in migrants presents a significant challenge to the administration. They must decide whether to hold them in detention centres or release them while they wait for their court proceedings. This can take many years due to the long backlog. As part of their long-planned strategy to use immigration in order to win the midterm elections next years, Republicans will highlight any rise in migrants and delays in processing them in political ads, mailers, and debates in all races.
Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum (an immigrant advocacy organization), said that the administration is repeating 2015's mistakes by underestimating the power and importance of a border security argument. They run the risk losing moderate voters who expressed concern about the administration's approach to immigration.
According to a poll conducted by the National Republican Senate Committee (and the Republican Governors Association), 53 percent of voters believe they are less likely than others to support Democrats for Congress due to the rise in immigration at the border. 23 percent believe they are more likely.
Emma Vaughn, spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, described Title 42's expected removal as dangerous because of other border policies she claimed have contributed to an increase in migrants at the border.
She said that Republicans at all levels, federal, state and local, are now stepping up to lead the nation through this crisis. Americans are also taking note of the fact that voters across the country rejected Biden's failure leadership at the border.
Public health experts and immigrant advocates have been saying for months that the politics surrounding Title 42's lifting is irrelevant: Title 42's use is illegal, inhumane, and not justified by the public health.
If the Biden administration feels there is another reason to deny asylum seekers the right of a hearing then they should invoke it. They cannot use Title 42 to regulate migration flows. Lee Gelernt is deputy director of American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
Gelernt, the lead lawyer for the ACLU's case challenging Title 42's legality to expel families, stated that this is a political and not legal position.
However, Democrats recognize that politics around the move could be complicated.
An ex-Obama immigration official close to the Biden government acknowledged that Biden is at risk at the border. The person stated that Biden's immigration number is low. However, it would not affect his overall approval rating. The person stated that lifting Title 42 would cause visual chaos at the border.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D.Texas), who was critical of the Biden administration's immigration policy, stated that he looks forward to seeing the border closing lifted for nonessential travelers. This has caused economic hardships in towns along the Mexican and Canadian borders, which are used to tourism. However, he knows that Title 42 will present major challenges.
After a bipartisan meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D.Texas), speaks to reporters outside of the West Wing. Alex Brandon/AP Photo
The drug cartels will use the opportunity to offer another incentive to potential migrants by lifting the rule. Cuellar stated that Border Patrol agents along the border and law enforcement on the border told Cuellar they expect the rule to be lifted soon and are ready to deal with a new influx of migrants seeking asylum.
The Texas border Democrat stated that it was a double-edged sword.
Biden has pledged to create an equitable and humane immigration system, but his aides discovered that Trump's policies can quickly be reversed. This could create logistical as well as political problems. At the beginning of his presidency, immigration received a lot of attention due to the record number of unaccompanied children crossing the border. In recent weeks, however, the border has been overshadowed in part by Biden's spending plans, and several state voting restriction laws.
A spokesperson for the White House declined to comment on Title 42, except to state that the administration is working to rebuild and process the disreputable asylum system. This includes processing certain groups of people including those who were forced to wait in Mexico to hear their cases under a Trump-era policy.
The Department of Homeland Security has referred questions regarding Title 42 to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' comments made earlier in the week. Mayorkas stated that Title 42 does not constitute an immigration policy. It is used by the Centers for Disease Control.
Mayorkas stated that it is driven by the best public health interests of the American people.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, border agents have expelled more than 867,000 migrants using Title 42 since March 2020. However, immigration experts have clarified that the 867,000 figure does not refer to individual migrants. Instead, there has been a high rate recidivism. This is when migrants are expelled and then attempt to cross into the U.S.
According to CBP, in May, there were more than 180,000 migrants apprehended at the border. 112,302 were expelled under Title 42. 38 percent of those arrested were people who attempted to cross the border at least once within the past 12 months. CBP reported that the average one-year rate of reencounter was 15% for fiscal years 2014 to 2019.
The Biden administration had been more vocal about immigration discussions earlier this year. They held regular media calls to discuss the increase in migrants crossing the border. The White House hosted a media conference with officials from the administration to discuss CBP's monthly report on apprehensions in April. CBP has been releasing April and May apprehension figures in the late afternoon, without having to hold a press conference.
Republicans have not only highlighted the monthly topline numbers but also neglected to mention that the majority of immigrants apprehended are being expelled quickly under the Trump-era Trump-era order. According to interviews with over half a dozen political operatives who were involved in the midterm elections, they will likely push harder when Biden lifts that order.
Biden and Harris could remove the Title 42 restrictions, which are far less effective than they were when they took office. This would create a tsunami of illegal immigrants, according to Steve Cortes, a former Trump campaign adviser who is still close to the former president. It could get much worse than it is right now.
Republicans have intensified their attacks on the border in recent weeks by traveling there, writing letters, and calling for investigation. To highlight the rise in migrants, the RNC bought a mobile billboard. This was to coincide with Vice President Kamala Harris's visit to the border last Wednesday. One of the few ads that the NRSC has run against Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), argued that his votes don't match his harsh talk against Biden's immigration policy. The National Republican Congressional Committee also targeted three House Democrats from border states: Vicente Gonzalez and Cuellar Gonzalez in Texas, and Tom O'Halleran in Arizona.
Republicans claim they have seen some success in believing that immigration played a part in the election of Hidalgo County's mayoral seat. They are encouraged by polls showing Biden receiving some of the lowest marks regarding the issue.
Trump first mentioned the Title 42 statute, which is a broad and obscure law. It directs federal officials to expel migrants crossing the northern and south borders. This effort was supposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus to holding facilities.
Biden has continued to refuse to accept most migrants at the border, even single parents, but has allowed unaccompanied children to remain for humanitarian reasons.
Democratic legislators and public health specialists have called on the administration to repeal the policy. They argued that migrants should be tested before they arrive in the country to stop the spread Covid-19. Even bipartisan immigrant advocates accuse the administration, which denies the charge, of continuing to use Title 42 to restrict immigration.
Biden's administration is currently deciding whether to adopt a phased-in policy. This is because there is no public health reason for allowing in single adults and families.
Eleanor Acer is senior director at Human Rights First's refugee protection program. She stated that there is no reason for the public to distinguish between single adults or families.
Acer stated that Title 42 would be lifted for families and kept in place for single adults for a longer time would have disproportionately negative impacts on African asylum seekers. Many of these people are traveling far from their homes and may not have their families to support them. This also applies to LGBTQ asylum seekers who might be travelling alone or with others not considered their family by the Department of Homeland Security.
Acer stated that advocates are supportive of the administration's efforts to improve the immigration system. However, they cannot keep Title 42 in effect while they work it out.
She said that they do want to improve the asylum system. You can't just stop adhering to existing laws if you want to strengthen certain systems and staff them more efficiently.