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New Hampshire Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan appeared to break with the Biden administration’s reported decision to end former President Trump’s Title 42 public health order that allows for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the southern border.
“I am concerned that there is not a sufficient plan in place to address the steep increase in border crossings that could result from this reported decision,” Hassan tweeted Wednesday. “This preemptive repeal threatens border security at a time when the administration should be focused on strengthening it.”
Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan makes a stop in the northern New Hampshire city of Berlin on April 7, 2021. The former governor and first term senator is running for reelection in 2022.
(Maggie Hassan reelection campaign)
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Centers for Disease Control plans to issue an order to end Title 42, which has been in place since March 2020, but its implementation will be delayed until May 23, in order to give the Department of Homeland Security time to prepare.
President Biden speaks about status of the country’s fight against COVID-19 in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Hassan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News whether she opposed the Biden administration’s reported decision.
The order was implemented by the Trump administration due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and has since been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to expel a majority of migrants at the border. In February, approximately 55% of migrants were returned due to the order.
The White House declined to comment on the report Wednesday but acknowledged that reversing the order will cause an “influx” of illegal immigration along a southern border that is already overwhelmed by record numbers of migrants.
“Title 42 is a public health directive, it is not an immigration or migration enforcement measure, so the decision on when to lift Title 42, we defer to the CDC,” White House director of communications Kate Bedingfield said. “That being said, of course, we are planning for multiple contingencies, and we have every expectation that when the CDC ultimately decides it’s appropriate to lift Title 42, there will be an influx of people to the border.”
Immigration experts have warned that removing Title 42 will make an already chaotic situation at the border even worse.
“We’re fighting fronts that we just don’t have the resources to do it, and if Title 42 goes away, then those floodgates just completely and totally bust open and will be overwhelmed, and we’ll have less resources in the field,”
President of the National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd told Fox News. “This is a scary situation, and when you look at the number of people that were apprehended that have criminal records, it becomes even scarier. This is a very bad situation right now.”
FILE PHOTO: A group of asylum seekers from Mexico, Cuba and Haiti are detained by U.S. Border Patrol in San Luis, Arizona, U.S., April 19, 2021.
(REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo)
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz on Tuesday said that the U.S. is currently on track to hit one million migrant encounters so far in Fiscal Year 2022 – a number that shows that continued migrant traffic is already outpacing last year’s staggering numbers.
There were 164,973 migrant encounters in February, up dramatically from 101,099 in Feb. 21 – a month that preceded a massive surge in the spring and summer months. The February numbers mean that there were 838, 685 encounters since the fiscal year began in October. March’s numbers have not yet been released but are expected to outpace February’s, which would take the number of encounters for the fiscal year to over one million, with six months still to go in the fiscal year.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.