White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas are set to hold a press briefing as Title 42 is set to end.
Title 42, a pandemic-era policy allowing for the rapid expulsion of immigrants, is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, sparking fears of a mass influx at the southern border by individuals emboldened by its end.
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Mayorkas and the Biden administration have been under intense fire from Republicans and even some Democrats over preparations for the policy’s end. Title 42 was issued around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At one point, it was slated to end on May 23, 2022, but was prolonged amid court battles. The Biden administration has sought to turn the page on national emergency policies revolving around the pandemic.
Mayorkas has maintained that the administration is prepared for the aftermath of Title 42’s demise. He has emphasized that the department has other tools at its disposal to deter illegal immigration.
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“We’ve been preparing for this for more than a year and a half,” Mayorkas recently told CBS’s Face the Nation. “We are working closely with many countries to the South. It’s going to take our plan a while to really take hold — for people to understand that they can access lawful, safe, orderly pathways before they reach the border.”
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress have taken aim at the Biden administration and have been crafting H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which features a revival of Trump-era immigration policies and other steps to bolster border security. President Joe Biden has threatened to veto it.