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Progressive lawmakers on Thursday demanded that President Biden repeal the title 42 frontier measure and urge other Democrats not to throw themselves into political pressure by embracing a “xenophobic” immigration policy from the Trump era.
“We reiterate our support for President Biden’s repeal of this fundamentally racist, unjust and cruel 42nd order,” the Massachusetts Democratic Rep said. Ayanna Pressley, an original member of the so-called Squad.
Flanked by immigration activists, Pressley and progressive lawmakers held a press conference outside the Capitol on Thursday to strongly oppose Title 42, at a time when a chorus of moderate Democrats is urging Biden to postpone the planned repeal on May 23rd.
“This unscrupulous, racist and xenophobic Trump-era policy was in place for too long,” Pressley said. “It did nothing but inflict on migrants, especially black and brown migrants, unspeakable wounds and harm – and denied millions of their fundamental right to seek asylum.”
BIDEN’S PLAN TO END SECTION 42 IS ‘SET UP TO FAIL’, DEMOCRATS SET
The Title 42 health care order was implemented in March 2020 under the administration of former President Donald Trump as a way to keep COVID-19 out of US borders and expel the majority of migrants seeking asylum at the border. President Biden’s administration kept it in place amid warnings to repeal it could only exacerbate the border crisis. But the CDC recently announced that Title 42 expulsions end on May 23 because the public health order “is no longer needed.”
“I would like to reiterate to President Biden that we expect him to follow through on his promise to complete the Title 42 provisions by May 23,” the rep said. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill.
The Biden administration said it will proceed with the rollback on May 23, unless a short-lived court order holding Title 42 in place is still in force.
Progressives also called on their moderate Democratic colleagues, who have warned of a crisis at the border, whose title 42 was lifted now – shortly before the midterm elections.
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“To my fellow Democrats, who want to be under political pressure, I would like to reiterate that it would be a big mistake for Democrats to shy away from dismantling this cruel plank of Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda,” Garcia said.
Republicans have blasted Biden for moving to undo Title 42, saying it will lead to an increase at the U.S. border with Mexico once law enforcement and border officials are already overwhelmed. The progressives, however, accused Republicans of failing to work with them to pass comprehensive immigration reforms and accused the GOP of preventing a solution so they could incite anti-immigrant hatred for political gain.
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“Shame on everyone – Republicans or frankly Democrats – who use or buy into the use of immigrants as political football at the same time as they – like all of us – benefit from the workforce and contributions of undocumented and documented immigrants,” he said. rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Leader of the House Progressive Caucus.
She urged her Democratic colleagues to “not be afraid to lean into the” issue and counter “Republican xenophobia” with an embrace of immigrants and the fight for a “just and humane immigration system”.
“These are who we are,” Jayapal said. “Section 42 is a political failure, quite simply.”