Is Biden going to wave the white flag over ending Title 42?

Is Biden going to wave the white flag over ending Title 42?
AP Photo/Gregory Bull

The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching and Joe Biden is caught between a rock and a hard place. The CDC gave its blessing to Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas to halt the use of Title 42 at the southern border. Now Biden is being pressured by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to go through with lifting the public health tool used by DHS to mitigate the pandemic. On the other hand, Biden is feeling the heat from moderate Democrats and others running for re-election in November to keep it in place. What to do, what to do?

Frankly, the timing could not be worse. Last month, a record number of apprehensions by Border Patrol agents was set. The Biden border crisis is getting worse, not better, and the situation is expected to explode in May when Title 42 is set to end. Axios is reporting that Biden’s inner circle has been discussing delaying the move for now. They aren’t talking about completely reversing the decision but due to the upcoming midterm elections and the growing number of endangered Democrats up for re-election, well, simply putting off ending Title 42 for a little while may help the Democrats in November. Or, at least that is the idea being bounced around.

Adding to the equation is the fact that there is a bill in the Senate brought together by a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans who demand a real plan be in place before Title 42 is lifted. An unprecedented number of migrants are predicted to come to the border and try to take advantage of the situation. The bill prevents the Biden administration from lifting Title 42 without a detailed plan in place to handle the coming explosion of migrants at the border If Biden wants his request for an additional $10B in emergency COVID-19 funding, he’s going to be expected to prove that he has a plan in place.

Don’t hold your breath. This administration is dangerously inept and deliberately willing to turn a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis at the border to appease the far left open border wing of the party. Democrats are in complete disarray over all this and no one knows what exactly will happen at this point.

Team Biden is looking for a way to buy some time as May 23 will be here before we know it. Democrats in tough re-election races want Biden to change his mind and progressives, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus want him to go full steam ahead. Everyone acknowledges the House is flipping to a Republican majority in November but the question is whether or not Democrats can hold control of the Senate. At this point, it looks like Republicans have a good shot at flipping the Senate, too. If the coming red wave turns into a tsunami, all bets are off. Biden talks a big game of being able to work with both sides of the aisle and make deals but we’ve seen that is just malarkey. He’s not up to the job and relies on the incompetents around him to work out deals.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is scheduled to meet with Biden next Monday. If Biden waves a white flag and surrenders, at least temporarily, to political winds, the CHC is going to explode.

“Asylum is a human right, and ending Title 42 is the right thing to do,” said. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.).

“Now that mask mandates are ending across our country, it is even harder for those who support Title 42 to say this policy is a matter of public health,” Garcia said.

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) told Axios: “I hope the White House continues on its path to eliminating Title 42.” “Let’s work together on addressing this as lawmakers. Title 42 shouldn’t be used as a substitute for real immigration policy.”

A White House spokesman told Axios that the illegal migrants will be placed in immigration proceedings when Title 42 is lifted. “When it is no longer in place, migrants who attempt to enter the country unlawfully will be placed in immigration proceedings. Asylum and other legal migration pathways should remain available to those seeking protection, but those who don’t qualify will be promptly removed to their countries of origin.”

If Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement agencies on the border can’t keep up with the current numbers of illegal migrants crossing the southern border, how can we be expected to believe that DHS will be able to handle the predicted drastic increase in migrant traffic that will come in May? It defies common sense.

The blowback from endangered Democrats has been the most interesting part of this kerfuffle. They all sat silent up until things got real and Biden announced he would lift Title 42 in May. Then, as public outcries were heard from all over the country, suddenly some Democrats became interested in the Biden border crisis. There are a lot of election year conversions happening now. The truth is, the Biden border crisis is so bad that migrants are bussed and flown all over the country to relieve overcrowding along the border. Every state is a border state now. That realization is starting to sink in and politicians are hearing about it from constituents.

Does Joe Biden have the spine to go against the CDC now? Naw. He may delay ending Title 42 for long enough to try to help some Senate Democrats in November but he won’t reverse his decision. He thinks he is the smartest person in the room and can’t admit he’s made a mistake. We’ll see what happens after Monday’s meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. It is interesting in the meantime that someone in the White House talked to Axios about the ongoing discussion, floating the balloon about a delay, not a reversal.

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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023