Tester, Colleagues Voice Concerns over Administration’s Preparation for the End of Title 42, Call on DHS to Detail Plans

Senators’ letter follows federal court ruling ending Title 42

In his continued effort to secure the United States’ southern border, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) today joined his colleagues Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) in outlining their concerns to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about the Biden Administration’s current preparations for the end of Title 42, which gives the United States authority to expel migrants illegally crossing the border during the public health emergency.

In the letter, the Senators questioned how the Administration plans to ensure operational control of the border, maintain security, dedicate resources, and provide fair and humane treatment for migrants at the Southwest Border once Title 42 ends. The Senators’ letter follows the November 15th ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ending the use of Title 42. Title 42 is set to end on December 21st.

“Since the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the Public Health Determination and terminated the Title 42 Order on April 1, 2022, we have expressed concern with DHS’ preparations for the end of Title 42, especially as the situation has deteriorated at times,” wrote the Senators. “Record annual encounters have led to untenable situations. In Arizona, shelters have been forced well beyond capacity. This month, El Paso has seen over 700 migrants released directly onto city streets due to overcrowding. This is not safe, and creates a dangerous situation for migrants and communities.”

Earlier this year, the Senators partnered with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to introduce the bipartisan Public Health and Border Security Act to require all COVID-19 related emergencies be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated. The bill specifically would have prevented the Administration from ending the Title 42 emergency authority until at least 60 days after ending the COVID-19 National Emergency and the Public Health Emergency. After the end of the emergencies, the DHS would have thirty days to submit to Congress a plan to address the impacts of the post-Title 42 migrant influx.

Tester, former Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, has been Montana’s leading champion in ensuring America’s border security at the southern and northern borders. Last year, he fought to secure $3.85 billion for Land Ports of Entry to modernize and secure the Northern and Southern border in his bipartisan infrastructure legislation. He was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote for the FY22 government funding bill, which provided over $14 billion for CBP, including over $425 million for border security technology. The bill also included over $1 billion for state, local, and Tribal law enforcement to help support border security efforts, combat drug trafficking, and keep communities safe.

Read the Senators’ full letter HERE.