Four Senate Democrats on Saturday issued a statement in response to the Biden administration’s decision to uphold Title 42, a public health clause that began being used under the Trump administration to restrict immigration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are deeply disappointed in the Biden Administration’s decision to maintain Title 42,” read the statement from Sens. Bob Menendez (N.J.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Alex Padilla (Calif.), as well as Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.).
The senators said that the although the administration “made the right choice to prevent unaccompanied children from being expelled” in its recent announcement, “it is wrong that they made the decision to continue sending families with minor children back to persecution and torture.”
“With vaccines and testing widely available, there is no public health benefit to sending asylum seekers back to harm,” the senators claimed.
“As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxes it domestic COVID-19 protocols, it is perplexing that the agency continues to recommend the extended use of this draconian policy at the border, contradicting the overwhelming signs of America’s pandemic recovery under President Biden’s leadership,” the statement continued. “As we have clearly reminded President Biden, we have a moral imperative to live by our values.”
The senators concluded: “It is time for the Biden Administration to reinstate humanitarian protections at our borders, to build a functional asylum system that is equipped to manage our global migration challenge, and to stop breathing new life into this inhumane Trump policy.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus issued another statement Saturday condemning the Biden administration’s continuation of Title 42.
“Last night, the Biden Administration stated it will no longer expel unaccompanied minors arriving at our southern border under Title 42,” the caucus said. “However, the order does not apply to families seeking asylum.”
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) responded: “While we welcome the Biden Administration’s move to humanely treat unaccompanied minors, enough is enough. It is long overdue to completely end the Trump-initiated Title 42 policy and stop using the pandemic as an excuse to keep it going. Transmission rates are low, there are safe testing and quarantining protocols, and vaccines are readily available. End Trump’s Title 42 now.”