Amid rises in COVID-19 cases, threats of restoring lockdowns and mask mandates, and the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is calling on House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., to get their caucus fully on board to ensure Title 42 remains in effect.
"[A]s someone who cares deeply for the health and safety of Americans, and the migrants seeking to come here, I ask that you use your position to urge Republican Members to sign the discharge petition before we leave for August recess as border numbers continue to increase," Roy wrote to Scalise in a letter Tuesday obtained by Newsmax.
Roy's call to keep the Biden administration from rescinding Title 42 — which permits blocks at the border and removals by the U.S. government of people who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present — has the support of 117 House Republicans.
Roy noted there are still 94 GOP members yet to sign on to the discharge petition to keep Title 42 under GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell's PAUSE Act (H.R. 471). PAUSE is an acronym for Protecting Americans from Unnecessary Spread upon Entry.
"Due to the increasing illegal migrant encounters at our southern border, and the threat of new lockdowns, masking, and other Draconian measures to prevent the spread of COVID, it would be irresponsible to not use every tool we have to fully enforce Title 42 authority," Roy's letter read.
"The Biden Administration has recently indicated that they may soon fully rescind enforcement of this Title 42 authority."
Roy pointed to increased border crossings amid the revival of COVID-19 as a danger to Americans.
"As you know — and have said yourself, 'Biden's border crisis is creating a COVID crisis' — you are correct: Data shows that in just the first two weeks of July, positive cases among migrant detainees increased 900%," Roy's letter began. "COVID cases are slated to continue to increase at our southern border as migrant encounters continue to increase.
"In fact, just [Monday] it was reported that more than 20,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in one week as federal detention facilities in the area are holding nearly double their intended capacity.
"Per sources in Border Patrol, there are at least 90 CBP agents between the Del Rio and Laredo Sector with COVID, and in Del Rio, 15-25% of new CBP cases can be attributed directly to illegal immigration."
The PAUSE Act seeks to "prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from lessening the stringency of, and to prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from ceasing or lessening implementation of, the COVID-19 border health provisions through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for other purposes."
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