Title 42 and Immigration
The latest congressional negotiations have started regarding immigration, and not too soon as Biden has shown resistance to keeping in place title 42. Title 42 was a temporary pandemic era policy Trump used to suspend immigration during the pandemic. As the pandemic is winding down, President Biden’s Administration is accessing the need for said policy. The problem is it also created a bottleneck at our southern border, one we are not capable of processing. That is concerning not just to southern Democrats running for reelection but all Americans, especially as an amendment to keep it in place has been attached to a must-pass covid funding bill, one I would suggest Democrats take. Our borders have required attention for some time. The constant photos of detention centers, migrants fleeing only to be turned away, migrants dying on the journey, migrants smuggled by coyotes, or worse are heartbreaking. We need to take our border seriously (not as a political football both sides weaponize). We need a reform that makes legal migration a real option, not just throwing money at more draconian crackdowns. We can’t fix the border without a more humanitarian approach. We can go to the old talking points of how immigration increases the labor supply, increases contributions to social security and other taxes, and makes a healthier economy or focus on it is morally the right thing to do. Most migrants are crossing to make a better life for themselves and their families. Migrants are hard-working individuals not looking for a handout but a chance, and we should help as many people as possible. (I’m partial to a more lax visa program or open borders but with legal documentation)
There are four keys to the current negotiations
- Immigration reform
- Asylum Reform
- Border Security
Each one could be the focus of an immigration bill, but with how inefficient and slow our government has been, especially our legislature, both sides know they have one shot at reform. In the negotiations, the Democrat Senators include Alex Padilla of California, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Chris Coons of Delaware, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, and Durbin, joined by their Republican colleagues Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and John Cornyn of Texas. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mike Crapo of Idaho were unable to attend but sent staff to the talks. Hopefully, the negotiations yield much-needed reform. The last time the Senate took up reform, they passed an immigration bill with 68 votes, and they sent it to The Republican-held House, which refused to take it up. (Even though it included action on DACA) I hope a Democratic-held House won’t make the same mistake and will give their president, party, reform activist, and most importantly, immigrants the relief and win they need.