On 5/5/2022, A Department of Homeland Security senior official told a Senate panel that the record number of migrants crossing the southern border would decrease if the Biden administration is allowed to go forward with its plan to lift the Title 42 on May 23. Blas Nuñez-Neto, acting assistant secretary for border and immigration policy at DHS, said in response to questions from Sen. Josh Hawley that “I think over time, once we start reimposing significant immigration consequences on people at the border through our use of expedited removal, particularly for single adults and particularly for migrants from Mexico, you are going to see a decrease,” Nuñez-Neto told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Hawley responded to Nuñez-Neto’s statements with feigned astonishment. “Wow, that is news!,” he said. “That is news, ladies and gentlemen! You still clearly want to rescind Title 42 and you think rescinding it will decrease illegal immigration at the border!”
The statement was significant because the Biden administration has been projecting a spike in border crossings after the expiration of Title 42. Republican-led states are challenging Biden’s plans to lift the order on May 23, pointing to DHS’s own preparations for border crossings to potentially double.
“Title 42 has had a really interesting effect on migration, in that, because of the number of repeat border crossers we see, it has actually inflated our numbers at the border,” he told Hawley.
Hawley: “What would you call what’s happening at the border? Is it a crisis?” DHS official: “I believe we’re facing significant challenges at the border.” Hawley: “But it’s not a crisis?” DHS official: “It’s a challenge.”
Hawley and other Republicans lay blame for the border numbers squarely on the Biden admin’s decision to roll back Trump-era enforcement policies. They point to figures showing the release of more than 1 million migrants into the United States who crossed the border since Biden took office.
“What you are proposing looks like ways to turn this mass immigration into mass amnesty,” said U.S. Sen Josh Hawley, R-Missouri.
Sen. Hawley: that is news. that is news, ladies and gentlemen. This administration’s position, you want to rescind Title 42 and you think rescinding it will decrease illegal immigration at the border. last year alone, DHS has experienced a record 1.7 million border crossings. More than 2 million unauthorized migrants crossed the southern border during the last calendar year. In FY 22 to date, there have been 245,000 illegal crossings in just the Rio Grande valley. 100 95,289 in Del rio. the number of single adults crossing is up 75%. why is it up? Because of all of the policies we just talked about. Your policies are single-handedly leading to an explosion of illegal immigration at the border yet you are sitting here telling me that border walls have nothing to do with it, that Title 42 will lead to a decrease in illegal immigration, that eliminating the agreements have nothing to do with the surge. Good heavens. this is remarkable.
You want to bolster the capacity of non-governmental organizations to receive noncitizens after they have been processed by CBP and are awaiting results. You want to increase CBP processing efficiency in order to address overcrowding at border patrol stations. I have to be honest, as I look at this it looks like an attempt to memorialize your efforts to help as many illegal immigrants get into the country as possible.
Mr. Nunez-Neto: the third pillar of the plan is our efforts to impose consequences on those who try to
Sen. Hawley: of which you have a demonstrated track record of doing nothing of consequence. you have recited over the most unprecedented explosion of illegality at the border in American history. now you are proposing to turn this mass immigration into mass amnesty.
Mr. Nunez-Neto: with all due respect, I think title 42 is not an immigration measure, it is a public health authority.
Sen. Hawley: you just told us it would decrease — with all due respect, nothing you have said is remotely credible. if you think withdrawing title 42 will decrease illegal immigration, I invite you to have that discussion with the members of this committee, particularly on the Democrat side, they would be fascinated to hear that. believe me, I am happy to talk about your testimony today. but, you have single-handedly forced on this country a mass crisis that is endangering children, leading to an avalanche of drugs in my state, increasing criminality, and for you to sit here and tell me eliminating title 42 is a solution and that nothing you have done is of any consequence in that border walls are not effective and remain in Mexico is not effective. frankly, you have no credibility whatsoever.
That is news! Hawley Astonished lifting Title 42 EASE Border Crisis. Turn mass immigration into mass amnesty.