The Hill reports that four Democratic members of the U.S. Senate have come out in opposition to President Joe Biden’s new plan to address the southern border crisis.
Biden revealed his plan in a speech that he gave at the White House on Thursday.
There are several different parts to Biden’s plan.
One important part is the expansion of a humanitarian parole program to allow 30,000 individuals per month, from the countries of Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua, to be paroled into the U.S. for a two-year period, so long as they meet certain requirements, such as having a financial sponsor. Biden, though, made it clear that those who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally will not be allowed to be part of this program.
Another part of Biden’s plan is to expand the use of Title 42 – the Trump-era emergency policy that has been used to expel illegal immigrants from the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion will allow the Biden administration to expel up to 30,000 individuals per month via Mexico.
Additionally, Biden announced an alternative expedited removal process for those illegal immigrants who cannot be removed from the U.S. under Title 42 and who do not claim asylum.
“These actions alone that I’m going to announce today aren’t going to fix our entire immigration system, but they can help us a good deal in managing what is a difficult challenge,” Biden said on Thursday.
The Dems’ response
It was in response to this announcement from Biden that four Democratic members of the U.S. Senate released a statement opposing some aspects of Biden’s plan. The four senators are Sens. Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Alex Padilla (D-CA).
“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.
They added: “continuing to use this failed and inhumane Trump-era policy put in place to address a public health crisis will do nothing to restore the rule of law at the border. Instead, it will increase border crossings over time and further enrich human smuggling networks.”
The senators went on to criticize other parts of Biden’s plan, such as the requirement that migrants apply for asylum from their current location – something the Democratic Senators referred to as a “transit ban,” a characterization that the Biden administration disagrees with.
The Democrats did praise some aspects of Biden’s plan, such as the expansion of the humanitarian parole program. But, overall, the senators made it clear that they believe Biden’s plan does more harm than good.
This all comes after Biden has been facing substantial criticism regarding the southern border crisis, including criticism from some well-known Democrats, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Now, in response, Biden has not only announced the above plan, but he is also planning a visit to the southern border – the first of his presidency.
Whether any of this will actually address the problem remains to be seen.