Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly slams Biden over lack of preparation for migrant surge as end to Title 42 draws near

President Joe Biden has received a great deal of criticism from Republicans over his plan to end Title 42, which allowed for rapid expulsions of migrants, but he is now facing increasing pressure from Democrats such as Sen. Mark Kelly (AZ), who is warning that in lifting the order without sufficient preparation, the commander in chief is guilty of setting the stage for a “crisis,” as Fox News reports.

“I spent 15 years flying the Space Shuttle as a pilot of the Space Shuttle, commander of the Space Shuttle,” said Kelly on Friday. “We spent a lot of time preparing and training and making sure we have the right things in place for stuff that’s expected, and we spend an equal amount on stuff that’s unexpected, the contingency plans.”

Lamenting what he sees as an impending, yet an avoidable disaster, Kelly added, “[i]n this case, the administration hasn’t even prepared, and they don’t have a plan for what to expect. Forget about the unexpected part, I’m just asking for the first part of this.”

Surge expected

The order at issue was put into place during the early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the Biden administration recently announced that it would be lifted on May 23, prompting widespread fears of an unmanageable surge at the border.

Just the News recently reported that Customs and Border Protection officials have told agents to anticipate “irregular shifts and schedules, including holidays and weekends” as a result of the move, adding to the burdens facing already-overwhelmed border towns.

Even the Biden administration has indicated the potential for upwards of 18,000 migrants per day to seek entry, and former Trump administration adviser Stephen Miller went much further to suggest that lifting Title 42 will “open the floodgates on a biblical scale.”

Kelly sounds the alarm

The Democrat lawmaker from Arizona offered his take on the situation to Fox Digital after visiting border communities in his state and speaking to local officials about the difficulties they are encountering even before the anticipated onslaught begins.

Kelly used the border town of Douglas as a prime example of what the absence of the pandemic-era restrictions may unleash, saying that in that particular locality, “the migrants are mostly folks from Mexico and Guatemala, and they are most often returned to Mexico under Title 42.”

“So lifting Title 42 without a plan, without additional resources, without the money for busses or a plan for drivers and facilities to house folks, it’s going to be a crisis. It’s not a very humanitarian thing to do,” Kelly opined.

“I warned the administration about this months and months ago, and they still don’t have an adequate plan. They say they are working on it. My guess is that we’ll get to May 23, there probably is not going to be an adequate plan in place, and if that’s the case, I don’t think we should lift Title 42,” the senator added.

Bipartisan opposition builds

Kelly is not the only Democrat aligning against Biden’s plan to lift Title 42, as several other members of the president’s party have joined forces with Republicans to introduce legislation that would halt the move, a group that includes Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Maggie Hassan (NH), Jon Tester (MT), and Joe Manchin (WV).

The proposed measure would extend the operation of Title 42 for an additional 60 days and force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a plan to address the massive influx of arrival the administration’s decision is expected to yield, but whether sufficient support for the bill can be garnered for passage, only time will tell.

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