Only minutes after I finished writing about how President Joe Biden plans to restart his migrant crisis by lifting Title 42, Democrats seeking to keep their seats in the legislature are scrambling to prepare for the inevitable blowback from the American public. They are already looking for ways to shield themselves from the outrage that will ensue when people once again see video footage of caravans making their way to the southern border, after the White House issued yet another invitation to migrants who want to get into the United States legally or illegally.
Last week, the White House announced that it would be rescinding Title 42, which allows Border Patrol agents to turn away migrants coming from countries dealing with “communicable diseases” like COVID-19. Under the program, border authorities sent back 1.7 million people seeking to gain entry into the United States, making it harder for the Biden administration to “catch and release” people crossing the border illegally. The program will be ended in May, and it is expected this will cause another surge of migrants to the southern border, which won’t play well with the American public, which is set to choose the party that will control the legislature after 2022.
The Hill reported:
Senate Democrats are bracing for a surge of migrants at the southern border in the wake of President Biden’s decision to rescind a key restriction, creating yet another political headwind for Democratic candidates ahead of the midterm elections.
Vulnerable and centrist Democrats are scrambling to distance themselves from Biden’s decision, which came under intense pressure from progressives and immigration advocates, to limit their own political liability.
Surprisingly, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who isn’t exactly a moderate, castigated the administration, pointing out that “this is not the right time” to make such a move and that they “have not seen a detailed plan from the administration.”
Warnock has a difficult battle ahead of him to remain in his seat.
Some suggested that the White House must get ready to offer federal resources to border towns that could be overwhelmed by the upcoming influx. Last year, towns in states like New Mexico and Arizona had a hard time keeping up with the onslaught.
“When voters think that our party cares more about something else other than we care about the issues that matter in their everyday lives, we lose. And management of the border provides a really good example of that fact,” said John LaBombard, a former aide to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
“It would be a mistake to underestimate the impact on these communities, these small towns whenever there’s a surge in migrants attempting to cross the border. It’s a really big deal,” he continued. “These communities have always felt, and Sen. Sinema often points this out, that they’re not getting the support they need from the federal government and instead they’re having to carry the water for decades, for multiple administrations’ failures, as it relates to effectively managing the border.”
Sinema cautioned against “prematurely ending Title 42 without a comprehensive, workable plan.”
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) also faces a tough re-election bid. Biden’s approval rating in the state has dropped precipitously in large part because of his mishandling of the border issue. On Friday, he said removing Title 42 was “the wrong decision” and that “it’s unacceptable to end Title 42 without a plan and coordination in place to ensure a secure, orderly and humane process at the border.”
Democrats are smart to speak out against Biden’s silly decision to end Title 42. Republicans are rightly using the issue as a cudgel to bash the open borders left. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the administration is “going to further cave to the far left that wants open borders” and that “this is such an absurd decision.”
One factor explaining why the administration would make this decision right now is the possibility that the courts might rule against using Title 42 to reject asylum claims. Lanae Erickson, senior vice president for social policy at Third Way, a Democratic think tank, told The Hill: “The courts were moving in direction of forcing the administration to act here. To the extent that the administration is now getting in front of that and setting up a plan to do this in an orderly fashion, I think that’s great news.”
Either way, the Democrats lashing out at Biden seem to understand something important: There is absolutely no way this administration is going to rescind Title 42 while having an effective plan in place to deal with the inevitable swarm of migrants that will materialize at the southern border. The president and his team have shown time and time again that planning isn’t exactly their strong suit when it comes to addressing a crisis.
Also, it is worth noting that Erickson’s contention that courts would likely rule against the use of Title 42 does not provide an excuse for Biden. If this scenario were to occur, he could simply throw up his hands and point out that he cannot do much about the court’s ruling, thereby deflecting blame from himself. It would be a believable story.
Democrats are already set to lose the House, but with moves like this, it seems even more likely they will lose the Senate as well. Republicans would be wise to continue hammering on this, and other issues that are not working in the left’s favor–even after they win back the legislature.