The immigration policy Title 42 allowed people coming across the southern border to be denied asylum due to public health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Title 42 expired on March 11. Before the expiration, there was a lot of uncertainty about what would happen at the border. People were unsure how this would affect the number of people who would be trying to enter the United States.
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, joined “Inside the Issues” host Alex Cohen to discuss the ending of Title 42. He also talked about the new immigration policies Republicans are hoping to implement.
“This is a direct result of policies, this is a direct result of several years of sanctuary states, sanctuary cities, and now under this administration, literally an open border policy where we are actually now welcoming people into our country in an undocumented, illegal process,” Garcia said.
Title 42, a Trump-era policy, remained in effect while COVID-19 was still considered a public health crisis. Now, with the public health policies ending, the U.S. is reverting back to Title 8, the previous immigration policy.
“I’m not anti-immigration. I’m very much pro-immigration. We need immigrants. That’s what makes our country great,” Garcia said. “But there’s a process that we go through and this open border process and this frankly humanitarian crisis at our southern border is one of the most inhumane things that I have personally seen.”
On the same day Title 42 expired, the House passed the Secure the Border Act of 2023. The act increases restrictions on those who are seeking asylum and requires the Department of Homeland Security to resume building a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“What this effectively is trying to do is compel this administration to recognize that a nation without a border is not a nation at all,” Garcia said.
The Secure the Border Act is unlikely to be signed into law as the Biden administration said in a statement that the president would veto the bill if presented to him.
Garcia points to the growing fentanyl crisis as a consequence of having an open border.
“This is not orderly, this is not humane, this is not good for our country, this is not good for the people coming across,” he added.
The son of an immigrant from Mexico, Garcia is empathetic toward people coming to America seeking a better life, but feels the open border policies have caused more harm than good by enabling people to take advantage of the system.
“Literally every single person on this planet should want to come to the United States, but we have laws, we have order, we have processes. I would want the same for my family,” Garcia said.
According to a Department of Homeland Security official, encounters with migrants at the border have dropped by over 50% in the days following the expiration of Title 42.
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