Politics

Dem Rep Says Biden Admin Has No ‘Operational Control’ Over Border, Demands Trump-Era Policies Be Revived

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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Washington Democrat Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez said Monday that the federal government has lost “operational control” of the southern border and called for Trump-era enforcement policies to be brought back.

Gluesenkamp Perez, a centrist House Democrat, reiterated her calls for President Joe Biden to bring back Remain in Mexico and Title 42, two policies that were utilized widely under the Trump administration, but were both phased out after Biden assumed office. Illegal immigration has surged at the southern border under the Biden administration, with millions of migrant encounters at the southern border since Biden took office. (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg Dodges On Why Biden Won’t Reinstate Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy)

“I think it’s been one of the fundamental mistakes around immigration to debate whether or not an immigration policy is, you know, motivated by racial animus — and by the way, I think a lot of them are. But a lot of people in rural and working class communities like mine, we come from communities that have been hollowed out by fentanyl,” Gluesenkamp Perez said during an NPR interview.

“We are demanding operational control of the southern border,” she added. “I mean immigration itself is not the problem. The problem is that the U.S. does not have operational control of the southern border.”

The House Democrat specifically called for the re-implementation of Remain in Mexico and Title 42, two policies that were phased out under the current administration.

“Biden needs to exercise his existing authority under Remain in Mexico and Congress needs to give him back the presidential expulsion authority under Title 42.”

Texas border overwhelmed [Screenshot/Twitter/@JennieSTaer]

Texas border overwhelmed [Screenshot/Twitter/@JennieSTaer]

Remain in Mexico, otherwise known as Migrant Protection Protocols, required asylum seekers arriving at the southern border to wait it out in Mexico while their immigration court cases were being processed, eliminating a major incentive for migrants to disappear into the interior of the U.S. before being issued a decision by an immigration judge. However, Biden nixed the program after entering office. 

Title 42 was a pandemic-era policy that allowed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to quickly deport migrants apprehended at the southern border, but was abolished after the Biden administration declared an end to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Migrants were turned back nearly three million times under Title 42.

Gluesenkamp Perez is not the only House Democrat calling on the White House to do more for border enforcement.

She was joined by Democratic Reps. Jared Golden of Maine, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Mary Peltola of Alaska, and Don Davis of North Carolina in calling on Biden to reinstate Remain in Mexico and Title 42. Their calls came after the House failed to vote for a border security bill pushed by House Speaker Mike Johnson.

The illegal immigration crisis has quickly turned into a hot-button issue as more Americans, including Democrat voters, develop a more stringent stance on border enforcement.

For the first time in the survey’s history, a Monmouth University poll in February found that a majority of Americans support building a border wall. Just over half of Americans now say they even support mass deportation of illegal aliens, including 42% of Democrats, according to a Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll released this month.

Gluesenkamp said extreme elements were keeping the government from solving the border crisis and faulted the House Freedom caucus for sinking a bipartisan immigration deal that was agreed upon in the Senate. She does, however, want to “depoliticize” the issue.

“It’s not just about racial animus. It’s about having a predictable level playing field that reflects the values of our country,” Gluesenkamp Perez said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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