Communities on the U.S.-Mexico border are worried about the lifting of Title 42, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said Sunday.
Cuellar told “Fox News Sunday” that President Biden’s decision to lift Title 42, a controversial policy allowing for the expulsion of migrants at the border under a public health emergency, has people living on the border “very concerned” about a surge of migrant crossings.
“They’re not only public officials but other folks, and none of them said, ‘Yes, go ahead and lift title 42,’” Cuellar said. “And none of them said, ‘Open up the border.’ They are very concerned because they are on the front lines, and they’re the ones I think we need to listen to.”
More than 220,000 migrants were encountered at the border in March, the highest number counted since 2000.
Title 42 is set to expire on May 23, but some Republican attorneys general are suing over the administration’s decision to lift the public health order.
The decision has also made a number of Democrats worried as the midterms approach and as they come under criticism from Republicans over the Biden administration’s efforts to secure the border.
Cuellar is running as a moderate Democrat and faces a runoff primary challenge in May in the 28th District of Texas, which covers San Antonio south to the Rio Grande and the Mexico border.
Cuellar on Sunday questioned why the U.S. was extending a federal public health emergency through July but lifting Title 42 at the same time.
“How can we have the public emergency extended to July 15 and say there’s a pandemic going on in the United States but at the border everything is fine?” the lawmaker asked. “Those are mismatched messages.”