Backed into a corner by circumstances at the border and growing pressure from Congress, the White House on Monday renewed a public health order—Title 42—that allows the Border Patrol to turn migrants back at the border over COVID-19 concerns.
That pressure from Congress came in the form of a discharge petition on a bill that would accomplish the same end—preserve Title 42, at a time when the Delta variant of the virus is increasing hospital admissions. Congressman Chip Roy, R-Texas, was behind that petition. It needed 218 signatures to force a floor vote on Congresswoman Yvette Herrell’s bill; he had already gathered more than 150.
“The fact that the Biden Administration has opted to not immediately make this humanitarian, national security and public safety crisis worse by rescinding Title 42 authority is nothing to cheer,” Roy said on Tuesday. “This decision still maintains the reckless status quo that fed this crisis by inviting the entire world to try to break our laws and manipulate our system. You can’t praise an arsonist for his restraint in only burning down most of a house.”
He pointed out that under President Trump, the Border Patrol turned back about 80% of migrants entering the U.S. illegally, using Title 42 powers. But President Biden’s administration has only turned back about 60%.
“We need to enforce Title 42 as the Trump administration did, stop the dangerous insanity and secure the border once and for all,” Roy says. “When Republicans regain House leadership, we ought to impeach [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas, and we ought to consider impeaching President Biden. Most importantly, we need a revival in the understanding of who we are as Americans. We need to stand up and demand a secure border now.”