Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas contradicted agency officials who are working at the southern border, by claiming that Title 42 has not been ended by the administration prematurely.
Title 42 gives the federal government the power to return illegal aliens who cross into the United States over the Mexican border to their home countries – a policy that was put into place by former President Donald Trump.
During a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, asked Mayorkas about the Biden administration prematurely ending Title 42, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Title 42 would not be ending until May 23.
Rep. Issa said that during a visit to the southern border, DHS officials had told him and other House Republicans that they had been ordered to start phasing Title 42 and according to Breitbart news, DHS had been ordered to exempt “vulnerable populations” from Title 42 expulsion.
When we were at the border a week ago, we saw that on your orders, orders from Washington but I have to presume they were yours, Title 42 has already ended. Your Border Patrol … Customs people were ordered to and they were bringing in every day as many as they could get from down in Mexico — Title 42 people that have been refused — and bringing them back in.
“When I asked the agent in charge, she told me that they were trying to clear the backlog completely by May 23. That is a clandestine ending of Title 42. Why did you do it?” Issa asked Mayorkas.
“I am not familiar with that. That is factually incorrect,” Mayorkas claimed. The exchange continued:
ISSA: Well, that is … a statement that multiple members on the dais saw. The question is will you come back and give us the details of who gave that order and when it began. We have been told and we have witnessed that going on at the U.S.-Mexico border. It is going on as we speak today. So would you agree to come back and give us the details of who gave that order and whether that order was lawful?
MAYORKAS: Congressman, I don’t know what order you are referring to. There is no clearing of the backlog as you have framed it. What we have begun to do is expand the use of expedited removal under Title 8 of the United States Code which is an enforcement mechanism to expedite the removal of individuals who do not have a valid basis to remain in the United States.
ISSA: Mr. Chairman, for the record … Multiple members here on the dais were told by the agent in charge the time and place that they were bringing in these individuals who were in Mexico … they were waiting in Mexico, they’d been refused under Title 42, NGOs were coming, bringing them there … I understand that the secretary may not know about it, but there were multiple members who were told this by a uniformed agent.
A sworn testimony which was entered into the congressional record, and shared with Breitbart News, Rep. Issa, along with Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), and Cliff Bentz (R-OR), and their congressional staffs, stated that they were told by DHS officials at the California-Mexico border about the agency’s premature ending of Title 42.
“…numerous Customs and Border Protection agents told us they were under order to begin immediate processing in expectation of the additional large influx of migrants expected to cross our southern border when Title 42 is withdrawn on May 23, 2022,” the lawmakers and staff wrote.
A federal judge said he would block the Biden administration from ending Title 42 while the issue makes its way through the courts.
It is expected that around 30,000 border crossers and illegal aliens would enter the United States every day at the border if Title 42 was removed.