Democrats slam Biden’s border crackdown and point fingers at Republican ‘obstruction’

Sen. Bob Menendez, front, speaks during a news conference at Newark Liberty International Airport to address the partial government shutdown, which is keeping airport employees working without pay, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Newark, New Jersey. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Democrats slam Biden’s border crackdown and point fingers at Republican ‘obstruction’

Rachel Schilke

January 06, 08:58 AM January 06, 08:58 AM

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Some Senate Democrats are not in favor of President Joe Biden’s revitalized southern border strategy to limit border crossings, pinning some of the blame on Republican “obstruction.”

Under the new plan, the Biden administration will use the pandemic-era policy Title 42 to expel some immigrants at the border and allow others to pass through via plane.

However, four Senate Democrats — Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) — condemned the administration’s new strategy in a statement hours after the plan was announced.

“While we understand the challenges the nation is facing at the Southern border exacerbated by Republican obstruction to modernizing our immigration system, we are deeply disappointed by the Biden Administration’s decision to expand the use of Title 42,” the senators wrote.


The senators wrote that the strategy, riding on the back of a “failed and inhumane” policy of former President Donald Trump’s, will backfire and do nothing to restore order at the border. Instead, they argue, it will only enhance opportunities for human smuggling networks.

In the letter, the senators applauded the administration’s intention to grant access to parole for 30,000 Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Haitians but said it would not outweigh the strategy’s possible harmful ramifications.

“This narrow benefit will exclude thousands of migrants fleeing violence and persecution who do not have the ability or economic means to qualify for the new parole process,” the senators wrote.

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The senators also expressed dismay over the administration’s new requirements for immigrants to apply for asylum from their current location.

“We are also concerned about the Administration’s new transit ban regulation that will disregard our obligations under international law by banning families from seeking asylum at the border, likely separating families and stranding migrants fleeing persecution and torture in countries unable to protect them,” the senators wrote.

However, senior administration officials denied that the new policy is a “transit ban” on a call with reporters, according to the Hill.

“You know, the previous administration’s transit ban did not provide any mechanisms for individuals to come to ports of entry to make asylum claims, it was not coupled with any expansion of lawful processes for entering the United States without making the dangerous journey to the border,” an official told reporters on Thursday.

Biden, who last visited the border in 2013, plans to make his first visit as president to the southern border on Sunday.

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