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Biden Faces Backlash Over Plans to End Title 42 Immigration Policy

As arrests by U.S. Customs and Border Protection have soared to an all-time high, President Biden's plan to end a Trump-era immigration policy called Title 42 has met resistance even from moderate Democrats, the Washington Post reports. Many fear that ending Title 42, which was put into place during the pandemic, will cause a rush of crossings across the border that could hurt Democrats in the November midterm elections. Even the administration acknowledged that the move could significantly increase the number of crossings. The policy allows for expulsion of undocumented immigrants and precludes many immigrants from being able to seek asylum in the U.S. The threat of lifting these measures both on the ground and in public perception has caused some moderate Democrats to distance themselves from the decision. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who is standing for reelection, urged Biden not to lift the order without a more developed blueprint for dealing with the effects it will have on border security.

The current Biden plan would end Title 42 in its entirety in late May, which many criticize as a plan that will provide migrants with a target date to arrive in the U.S.. Many favored a tiered phase-out Title 42. Critics say extending the effective date allow the administration to reassess its plans if a new coronavirus variant strikes, because the justification for Title 42 is protecting public health. The administration is moving forward with worst-case contingency plans that acknowledge the possibility that border arrests could more than double. Officials are working on erecting tents to process migrants and acquiring additional buses and aircraft to transport them. A recent Economist-YouGov poll found that just 33 percent of respondents approve of Biden’s handling of immigration.

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