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Tags: kyrsten sinema | thom tillis | title 42 | border | biden administration | migrants | asylum

Sinema and Tillis Working on Stopgap Border Measure

By    |   Thursday, 04 May 2023 05:46 PM EDT

With the Trump-era border policy Title 42 set to expire next week, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., are working on a stopgap border measure that would grant the Biden administration a temporary, two-year extension to expel migrants from the United States.

A Sinema aide told Politico that the bill being proposed by the bipartisan pair is functionally different from Title 42 in that it does not rely on a public health order to deny asylum and migration claims.

The legislation would provide protections for migrants who would be tortured or face threats to their life or freedom if returned to their home countries, as well as migrants with serious medical needs, according to the aide.

Requiring a 60-vote threshold to clear the Senate, the legislation isn't likely to pass before Title 42 expires and faces an uphill battle for adoption regardless in a chamber that has grappled with border and immigration issues unsuccessfully in recent years.

The Sinema-Tillis measure comes as the House prepares to vote on its own comprehensive immigration and border proposal next week, Politico reports. The senators' bill is not in response to the House's proposal, but rather in response to the upcoming May 11 end of Title 42.

Republicans have sharply criticized the expiration of Title 42, while Democrats have cautioned that the Biden administration doesn't have the resources in place to be able to process the surge of migrants that is expected at the U.S.-Mexico border in the coming weeks and months.

In a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday, 11 Senate Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., urged him to reconsider and keep Title 42 in place. Graham likened doing away with Title 42 to "being hit by a slow moving truck in Kansas."

"I'm asking them to find an acceptable substitute for Title 42," he added.

The original end date for the Trump public health edict was May 23, 2022, but the policy was tied up as Republicans mounted a legal challenge to keep the policy in place. In February, the Biden administration announced that the termination of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency would also end Title 42.

The issue is full of political land mines for the White House, which faced public appeals over the last year from some Democrats to keep the border policy.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who hasn't announced yet if he will run for reelection, said the end of Title 42 was a "shame" and seemed frustrated by Congress' border gridlock.

"I think the border has to be secure, period," Manchin told Politico. "It's a disaster at the border."

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Politics
With the Trump-era border policy Title 42 set to expire next week, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., are working on a stopgap border measure that would grant the Biden administration a temporary, two-year extension to expel migrants from the U.S.
kyrsten sinema, thom tillis, title 42, border, biden administration, migrants, asylum
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2023-46-04
Thursday, 04 May 2023 05:46 PM
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