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Biden admin moves officers from northern US to southern border for Title 42 migrant wave, Cuellar says

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Rep. Henry Cuellar said Thursday the Biden administration told him it planned to use law enforcement officers from the northern United States to deal with a massive surge in migrants arriving at the southern border. at the end of title 42.

Cuellar, D-Texas, who represents a border community and opposes many of President Biden’s border policies, also said it appears the administration seems more interested in moving migrants quickly into the country than border security.

REPUBLICAN STATES SEEK TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ON TITLE 42 AHEAD OF ROLLBACK

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) speaks on Southern Border Security and Illegal Immigration, during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol July 30, 2021 in Washington, DC.
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“What we got from the White House is their plan to handle this large number of people. Part of that plan is to move some of the officers from the northern United States to the south. But that’s not only temporary,” Cuellar told Fox News Digital in an interview Thursday.

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Moving staff from northern areas would mean they are unable to address some of the issues assigned to them, Cuellar continued. “It’s almost like bringing people in so they can be more efficient in getting migrants into the United States… It’s ‘how can we move migrants faster from the border inland ?’”

President Biden delivers remarks in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, United States, March 31, 2022.
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File photo)

Title 42 was instituted by the administration of former President Donald Trump at the start of the pandemic to allow migrants arriving at the border to be expeditiously deported. It remained in place under Biden, but the president recently announced he plans to roll back the policy beginning in late May.

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Biden’s decision was welcomed by progressive Democrats but criticized by Republicans and many moderate Democrats who are up for re-election in November. They worry that lifting Title 42 without a detailed plan for how to handle an expected influx of migrants could hurt border communities and Democrats in the medium term.

Immigrant men from many countries are arrested by US Border Patrol officers at the US-Mexico border on December 07, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona.  Governors from 26 states have formed a strike force to deal with the border crisis.

Immigrant men from many countries are arrested by US Border Patrol officers at the US-Mexico border on December 07, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona. Governors from 26 states have formed a strike force to deal with the border crisis.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

“They’re processed, they’re released or taken to bus stations or other places, airports,” Cuellar said Thursday when asked how lifting Title 42 would affect his South Texas district. “So you know who bears the burden of taking care of these people? It will be local communities, local non-profit organizations.”

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That the administration is moving assets from elsewhere in the United States to the border is not surprising. DHS announced it would be “ready to send personnel and resources to the southwest border” late last month. Fox News also reported this month that the response to the border situation may include volunteers from other government agencies, including Veterans Administration medical personnel.

“As we talked about, DHS has a plan,” White House senior deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday. “DHS is implementing a comprehensive strategy…to address a potential increase in border encounters.”

Jean-Pierre added, “This strategy includes acquiring and deploying resources to deal with increased volumes that…involve the movement of DHS officers, agents, volunteers to rapidly decompress points the along the border and deal more effectively with migrants”.

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But Cueller said those details underscore what he and others say was a premature lifting of Title 42 without regard to what those directly affected by the decision think.

“They need to listen to border communities,” Cuellar said of the Biden administration. “Who listens to landowners, who listens… to judges, county judges, sheriffs, mayors and border communities? And then finally, who listens to the men and women in green and blue, those who keep the border safe ?”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Erin McEwan and Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.

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