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Cuellar: Biden’s Title 42 decision hurts Democrats — and helps cartels

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Rep. Henry Cuellar says President Biden is hurting Democrats ahead of the midterm elections while helping the cartels by pushing ahead with his Title 42 rollback.

Cuellar, D-Texas, is one of many re-elected Democrats criticizing the Biden administration’s decision to end pandemic-era immigration policy, which has facilitated the rapid deportation of migrants.

He is joined by senators like Mark Kelly, D-Arizona.; Maggie Hassan, DN.H. ; and Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. Several House Democrats are distancing themselves from the administration on this issue.

MID-TERM ELECTIONS: IMMIGRATION, TITLE 42 LEAVES DEMOCRATS IN ‘BAD SHAPE’, CAMPAIGN EXPERTS SAY

“In the past, I was the only voice on this. But now we have Democratic senators, Democratic members of Congress from other parts of the country who not only look at the P for politics, but they also look the P for politics,” Cuellar told Fox News Digital on Thursday.

“It’s not good for Democrats in November. You know, talking to some of my fellow Republicans, they say, ‘We can’t believe the White House is giving us this narrative. We can’t believe they’re hurting the Democratic candidates in the November election,” Cuellar added. “And you know that, you look at the polls. Republican voters aren’t happy with what’s happening on the border. Democratic voters are not happy. And if you look at independent voters, they are not happy with this decision. So who are we trying to please?

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

CBP REPORTS FIND MORE THAN 14,000 UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN AT BORDER IN MARCH

But Cuellar warned that the ramifications of Biden’s handling of the border go beyond electoral politics. There are consequences for communities on the border — including his South Texas constituents — and for criminal organizations who will welcome the decision, he said.

“Once Title 42 is taken down, it prompts criminal organizations to say, ‘Hey, now we can promote this, we can market this saying the border is open,’” Cuellar said. “And they make a lot of money.

“Older people, landowners to officials – both in the city and in the county – are saying, ‘Look, we want to treat migrants with respect and dignity, but you just can’t get them to rush into large amount’” Cuellar said of the ramifications of a border surge. “They are processed, they are released or taken to bus stations or other places, airports. … So you know who bears the burden of looking after these people? It will be the local communities, the non-profit lucrative.”

Immigrant men are arrested by U.S. Border Patrol officers at the U.S.-Mexico border on December 7, 2021 in Yuma, Arizona. Governors from 26 states have formed a strike force to deal with the border crisis.
(John Moore/Getty Images)

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

The White House stresses that it made its decision to lift Title 42, which will take effect May 23, with clear eyes. White House deputy chief press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday there would be a deployment of resources to deal with the anticipated outbreak.

“As we talked about, DHS has a plan,” she said. “DHS is implementing a comprehensive strategy … to address a potential increase in border encounters.

CUELLAR SAYS ‘NO FAULT’ ON HIS PART AFTER REVEALING HE IS NOT TARGET OF FBI PROBE

“This strategy includes acquiring and deploying resources to deal with increased volumes. This…involves moving DHS officers, agents, volunteers to rapidly decompress points along the border and deal more effectively with migrants.”

Republicans, meanwhile, are railing against the administration for the decision and vow to fight it in court and in Congress.

SENATE READY FOR SHOWDOWN OVER TITLE 42, COVID FUNDING AMID WARNINGS OF IMMINENT FLOOD OF MIGRANTS AT BORDER

A number of red states filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking a temporary restraining order that would keep Title 42 in place. And Senate Republicans are demanding a vote on an amendment to keep Title 42 as a condition to allow a new COVID-19 funding bill to pass.

“Ending Title 42 will be a national security and humanitarian disaster for Americans,” Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News this week. “It is the height of hypocrisy to shut down this important public health tool just as Democrats are seeking billions more for COVID. The Biden administration cannot have it both ways, and Republicans will fight to keep Title 42 safeguards in place.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speaks to the media after a Democratic political luncheon October 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speaks to the media after a Democratic political luncheon October 19, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y., has accused Republicans of holding the COVID-19 funding bill hostage over Title 42’s “foreign issue” and opposes such a vote. But a Senate GOP aide told Fox News it’s possible a vote on a Title 42 amendment could take place at a 60-vote threshold.

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A vote at that threshold would make passage of the coronavirus funding bill much less likely. But it would allow Republicans to force vulnerable Senate Democrats to register Title 42, which they could then use to hit Democrats before midterms, exactly what Cuellar was warning about.

“[If] Republicans are now going to accept the 60-vote threshold…I think they’re doing it because they just want the issue to be addressed in the campaign,” James Wallner, R Street Institute’s senior fellow for governance, said this week. .

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Erin McEwan contributed to this report.

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