Sen. Kelly says lifting Title 42 will cause chaos on the border

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 9:34 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly has come out against President Joe Biden’s plan to lift Title 42 next month. Title 42 was implemented during Trump administration to return migrants and asylum seekers back across the border into Mexico because of the threat caused by the pandemic.

As the health emergency wanes, the Biden Administration set May 23, 2022 as the day to end the rule.

Kelly says he’s not against lifting Title 42 but that the time is not right.

“I’ve warned the White House about this, and DHS about this, that you not have a plan if you lift Title 42,” Kelly told News 13.

Kelly says one of the things he learned as an astronaut is the value of planning and he doesn’t believe the Administration has a plan for the large influx of migrants and asylum seekers once the medical emergency is lifted.

“I want to see a detailed plan, he said. “What are the resources, how are you going to staff up border patrol, how many buses you going to need, how you going to pay for it, how you going to find the drivers, where are those buses going to go to temporarily house the increased number of migrants.”

Kelly said the number of people crossing the border will increase from 7,000 a day to 18,000 a day once Title 42 is lifted.

“We don’t want chaos at the border,” Kelly said. “We have a crisis, we don’t want a crisis upon a crisis.”

Kelly was at the University of Arizona to rally students ahead of the election in November.

After the event, Kelly answered questions about Title 42 and why he opposes the administration on the issue. In part, he believes the administration may not understand some of the border issues.

“The way migration works across the border, it is not homogeneous, it’s not the same in the Tucson sector as it is in the Yuma sector, those places would require a different plan and a different amount of attention,” he said. “And I haven’t seen anything like that.”

There are about a half dozen US Senators who are encouraging the President to reconsider his deadline including Arizona’s senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

Kelly indicates that he doesn’t believe the move is political but he believes a health emergency still exists.

“I mean this is risky to the migrants as well,” he said. “We don’t have the number of facilities to house the number of people they anticipate coming, so that’s not good for their public health, it’s not good for the health of border patrol, it’s not good for the health and safety of the communities on the southern border.”

Kelly says he has legislation on his desk which includes a comprehensive plan and funding.

“I hope it gets a hearing,” he said.

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