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San Diego-area Democrats officials welcome end of Trump-era border policy which had bi-partisan support


Last updated 4/2/2022 at 7:39am

SAN DIEGO - The Biden administration's decision to terminate a pandemic-related policy that made it harder for migrants to seek asylum in the

United States drew praise today from three Democratic San Diego-area elected officials while Republican Rep. Darrell Issa called it ``reckless.''

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday it will terminate its Title 42 public health order May 23. The order required the

expulsion of unauthorized single adults and family units arriving at the land borders in order to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said ending the ``inhumane and restrictive policy is long overdue.''

Gloria said his administration will continue to work with the Department of Homeland Security and regional community organizations ``to ensure the process is orderly and that migrants have access to needed services and resources.''

Issa, R-Bonsall, called it ```a reckless decision by an administration that from its first day opened our southern borders, demoralized our front

line border patrol, and allowed in unprecedented human trafficking and fentanyl supply.''

``Despite the president's empty promise at his State of the Union address to secure the border, Biden's border crisis will only continue,'' Issa said, predicting the decision would result in a flood of additional immigrants entering the country illegally and burdening already overwhelmed border patrol personnel.

It's not just a lone local Republican that is opposing the decision. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Friday also slammed President Biden’s decision to rescind Title 42 as “a frightening decision” that would likely increase the volume of migrants at the southern border.

“Today’s announcement by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Biden Administration is a frightening decision,” Manchin said in a statement after Biden’s announcement.

“Title 42 has been an essential tool in combatting the spread of COVID-19 and controlling the influx of migrants at our southern border. We are already facing an unprecedented increase in migrants this year, and that will only get worse if the Administration ends the Title 42 policy,” added Manchin.

Manchin's office reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced a record 1.7 million migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, which was four times higher than what was reported in 2020

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas disagrees, saying ``we have put in place a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants encountered at our border.

``We are increasing our capacity to process new arrivals, evaluate asylum requests and quickly remove those who do not qualify for protection,''

Mayorkas said.

``We will increase personnel and resources as needed and have already redeployed more than 600 law enforcement officers to the border. We are

referring smugglers and certain border crossers for criminal prosecution. Over the next two months, we are putting in place additional, appropriate COVID-19 protocols, including ramping up our vaccination program.'' This is despite the CDC's most current admission that the vaccines don't stop the transmission of the virus and the fact that vaccinated people are being hospitalized with COVID-19.

Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, said the decision was ``a welcome step.''

``Over the last two years, migrants have been cruelly expelled from our country under the guise of Title 42,'' Vargas said. ``Title 42 was never about public health and safety -- it was implemented to deny due process to people seeking refuge and protection.

``Representing border communities, I've seen the impact of Title 42 firsthand. Our nation was built by immigrants and every immigrant deserves to

be treated fairly and humanely,'' Vargas said, adding that seeking asylum in the U.S. is legal.

San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas also praised the decision to end "a racist and xenophobic Trump-era policy that under the guise of public

health, denied people the fundamental right to seek asylum.''

City News Service contributed to this report.


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