Swing-state Democrats turn on Biden over Title 42 . border decision

That criticism extended this week to governor races in two southwestern swing states, Arizona and Nevada. Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state and frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for governor, urged Biden to reverse his “hasty decision” and said that lifting Title 42 “without a clear plan to secure our border is a would be a disaster.”

Republicans, meanwhile, are plunging into the issue.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of the Senate GOP, launched a $1 million television advertising campaign Thursday that Sen. Mark Kelly linked Biden’s move because of the Arizona Democrat’s vote in August against an amendment that would have required the Department of Homeland Security to block migrants entering the country illegally and potentially contributing to the spread of Covid-19.

“Kelly has voted to lift the restrictions, which will set off a huge new border wave,” a narrator says in the ad. “Tell Senator Kelly: Stop voting with Biden and against Arizona.”

Sarah Guggenheimer, spokeswoman for the Kelly campaign, responded by saying that the senator has “provided more resources for border security, introduced bipartisan legislation to address the crisis, and opposed both the Biden administration and his own party.” to ensure a safe, humane and orderly process.” the border.”

Biden Administration at Defense

The Biden administration is on track to end Title 42 on May 23. The decision, taken by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raised concerns about a wave of migrants.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told CNN this week that his department has “plans” to deal with the projected increase. But he wouldn’t elaborate.

“I think we should be very aware that we are dealing with enemies, and those enemies are the cartels and the smugglers, and I will not pass them on our plans. We will proceed with our execution, carefully, methodically, by anticipating on different scenarios,” he said.

Vulnerable Democratic lawmakers plan to use a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Mayorkas next week to distance themselves from the Biden administration’s decision, congressional officials say. They plan to grill the secretary, whose answers could provide a window into how the White House will defend its position.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that the administration “planned and prepared” to roll back Title 42 on May 23, but remains open to talks with lawmakers about immigration reform.

More than 20 states, mostly led by the GOP, on Thursday asked a federal judge in Louisiana to immediately block the administration from ending Title 42. The government asked the judge Friday to dismiss the request.

The Democratic division over Title 42 places candidates in swing states and vulnerable incumbents, not only against Biden’s White House, but also against more progressive Democrats and immigration advocates.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York is one of the most vocal proponents of ending Title 42 boundary restrictions. Last month, Schumer, along with the Democratic Sens. California’s Alex Padilla, and New Jersey’s Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, said there was “no public health benefit in returning asylum seekers to evil” and urged Biden “to stop breathing new life.” in this inhumane Trump policy.” Three weeks later, the government announced it would lift the pandemic restrictions.
Some Democrats set to be re-elected this year, such as Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, have been condemned by the left for criticizing Biden’s move to roll back Title 42.
Kelly and New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassanwho both visited the US-Mexico border earlier this month signed a Republican-backed bill that would delay the rollback.
Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who has also urged Biden to reconsider his plans, has been criticized by Republicans for signing a June 2020 letter urging Trump to withdraw from what the letter called a “CDC asylum ban.” .

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, chair of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, said this week that the Biden administration may have to delay rolling back Title 42 until a clearer plan is in place to reduce the flow of migrants on the southern border.

The chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee said he understands why his colleagues running for reelection may be willing to speak out against Biden.

“I think they are right to ask questions. This is a very serious matter,” said Peters, who is not up for re-election this year. “The senators must take a position that they believe is best for their state.”

Criticism of the midterm card

Meanwhile, Democratic opposition to the Biden administration’s decision has mounted on the map of competitive Senate races in the November midterm elections.

Pennsylvania Senate frontrunner embraces Biden and progressive agenda amid Democrats' midterm dilemma
In Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, an otherwise strong supporter of Biden’s policies, broke with the White House on Title 42.

“I think that needs some more thought. And I think we’re not quite there yet, honestly,” Fetterman said in an interview.

US Representative Conor Lamb, another Pennsylvania Senate candidate, told CNN he is a “skeptic” of the planned rollback.

“I will certainly listen to any argument the government wants to make,” Lamb said. “But you know, the pandemic isn’t over yet. That’s why Title 42 was put in place to try to help control what was happening down there in light of the pandemic and how things can spread and especially with these different variants.”

In Wisconsin, Democrats hoping to oust Republican Senator Ron Johnson this fall criticized Biden over title 42.

Lt. gov. Mandela Barnes, state treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry have all called on the government to propose a plan to keep both asylum seekers and U.S. residents safe before lifting the public health authority.

Florida Rep. Val Demings, who is challenging GOP senator Marco Rubio, was a top candidate for Biden’s running mate in 2020. Her campaign spokesman Christian Slater said Demings, a former Orlando police chief, would be lifting title 42″ until there is a plan to put more boots on. ground and support our law enforcement officers at the border.”

Democratic Senate candidates in red-leaning states have also spoken out.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, the leading Democrat in an open-seat Senate race, has co-sponsored a bill that would prevent the Biden administration from making a “wrong and reckless” decision to lift Title 42 restrictions.

“Ending this policy prematurely without a way forward will not help keep Americans safe, support our Border Patrol agents, protect asylum seekers or bring about the comprehensive solution our immigration system needs,” Ryan said. .

And retired Marine Lucas Kunce, a top Missouri open seat candidate, said, “Revoking Title 42 without a real plan is not a policy — it’s political.”

CNN’s Lauren Fox, Priscilla Alvarez, Manu Raju, Paradise Afshar, Andy Rose and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

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