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House Republicans Hold 1st Border Hearing of New Congress

Today Wednesday, Republicans used their first opportunity in the new Congress to highlight what they claim is a persistent migrant catastrophe across the southwest border brought on by the Biden administration’s too-permissive tactics.

Republicans are anticipated to continue criticizing the government over its most recent initiatives to combine border enforcement with new, constrained routes for certain migrants to seek refuge.

In response to the administration’s most recent expansion of the parole program, which allows up to 30,000 screened migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela to apply for temporary parole and a chance to seek more long-term humanitarian relief, a group of mostly GOP-led states has filed suit against the administration. Democrats have always backed asylum seekers’ rights, but some believe more can be done to help those escaping violence.

Mexico has promised to accept the return of up to 30,000 migrants from those four nations in addition to the parole programs. The contentious Trump-era directive under Title 42 of the United States Health Code, which permits the quick removal of migrants from the border, is what the administration is currently relying on.

Whether Title 42 is, in reality, enlarged will depend on how many migrants try to cross the border illegally each year. The declines observed so far in January are a positive development for the Biden administration, given the message communicated by an increased enforcement posture and the possibility of applying for admission outside of the border.

Judge Dale Lynn Carruthers of Terrell County, Texas, who has compared the historical volume of undocumented movement across the Southwest to an “invasion,” will be the featured speaker at the hearing on Wednesday.

Extremists on the far right have followed a similar path. Authorities found evidence of “invasion” rhetoric and anti-immigrant sentiments in connection with the El Paso Walmart gunman Patrick Crusius in 2019. Crusius left 23 people dead and many more injured. Crusius claimed that he made the trip to El Paso in order to halt what he termed “the Hispanic invasion” of Texas.

Regardless of whether Title 42 is still in effect, another committee witness, Arizona’s Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, branded the Biden administration’s approach to immigration policy “open borders by design.”

Despite improvements in reducing illegal crossings, more migrants are taking to the sea and arriving in south Florida. Seasonal weather patterns and hurricanes in the Caribbean can momentarily halt migration and give the impression that it is moving forward.

The COVID-19 health emergency will formally expire soon, according to a statement from the Biden administration this week. The Biden administration tried to remove the Title 42 border expulsion order but was thwarted in its efforts by a number of GOP-led states.

The government’s declaration of a pandemic emergency could be extended in an effort to reverse the strategy, which has drawn strong condemnation from the left. The government is criticized by immigrant rights activists for continuing to carry out a policy that permits the substantial reduction of humanitarian safeguards for migrants in Central and South America fleeing targeted violence.


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