President Joe Biden’s administration made the case Tuesday that it’s prepared for further increases in migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border when pandemic immigration restrictions end on May 23.
The Department of Homeland Security is delivering a “whole-of-government approach” in an effort to address increased numbers of migrants that are expected to cross the border when Title 42 is lifted, a senior Biden administration official told reporters during a briefing.
Title 42 refers to a public health order from former President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Biden administration’s comments come before Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is slated to testify on Wednesday and Thursday before several House committees, with Republican lawmakers poised to grill him on the border.
Biden administration officials on Tuesday released a memo from Mayorkas that outlines a plan to “prepare for and manage increased encounters of noncitizens at our Southwest Border.”
The plan has six pillars: surging resources, increasing U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s processing efficiency, administering consequences for unlawful entry, bolstering the capacity of non-governmental organizations, targeting transnational criminal organizations and deterring irregular migration throughout the Western Hemisphere.
The administration’s efforts will ensure that we have an orderly, secure and well-managed border, while continuing to treat people fairly and humanely, an official said.
Republicans have made clear that Biden’s border problems will continue to be a key line of attack against the president and his fellow Democrats ahead of November’s midterm elections.
“The Biden administration’s bad decisions have brought many crises upon our country. One of the worst is the collapse of law and order on our southern border,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican, in a floor speech on Tuesday.
Migrants’ border crossings already surged in March as the Biden administration plans to end Title 42. Several moderate Democrats have joined Republicans to call for an extension of it.