Ted Cruz, John Cornyn and other GOP lawmakers call for Title 42 extension

Several Republican senators, including Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, are urging the Biden administration to extend Title 42 policies

The public health order keeps migrants from crossing the border due to the pandemic and was implemented during the Trump administration.

"Title 42 enables us to stop people who are public health threats," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. 

"There's just no way to reconcile this idea that you're still wearing masks on airplanes, even if you're vaccinated, and you've been tested against COVID, and yet we're just continuing to usher people from actually, I think the number is roughly 150 different countries show up at the border," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), said.

Immigration attorney Thomas Esparza disagrees.

"Title 42 has been used to deny a lot of people who really, really were escaping violence, crime, and persecution from coming to the United States," Esparza said. "COVID vaccination should not be used as an excuse to keep them out."

Some lawmakers are worried about an overwhelming number of migrants.

"Unfortunately, this illegal immigration allows drug dealers, sex offenders, repeat criminals and other people who have no interest in your freedom or anybody else's freedom, but only want to serve their own interests," Cornyn said.

"Not everybody who comes to the United States is a terrorist, is a bad person, wants to do us harm. Not everybody. The vast majority of people when they go to court, if they've got lawyers, if they're represented, they will win their asylum cases. Their homes are hellholes," Esparza said. 

Without Title 42, the government would have to consider asylum cases at the border. With Title 42, migrants asking for asylum would be sent back without their claims being considered.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the CDC says there's "no longer a serious danger" that migrants would spread COVID-19 in detention facilities.

Esparza says Congress should instead be working on comprehensive immigration reform.

"Sending people back to die, just makes you want to cry," he said.

The plan is to end the policy on May 23, so the Department of Homeland Security will have time to get ready. Officials say they expect a rise in border crossings.

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