WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The White House said it’s ramping up security at the southern border in preparation for May 23 — the day the sweeping pandemic border restrictions known as Title 42 are set to expire.
“That includes moving officers, agents, DHS volunteer force personnel to rapidly decompress points along the border and more efficiently process migrants,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
More than 20 states with Republican Attorneys General are suing to require the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in effect. They argue without a clear plan in place, chaos will erupt at the border.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates when Title 42 lifts, 18,000 additional migrants will cross the U.S.-Mexico border each day.
“You’re going to see an explosion of illegal immigration,” said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.
Graham said the White House has kept Republicans in the dark on how exactly they plan to feed, transport and provide temporary shelter for these migrants.
“It’s going to be a signal to everybody in the world: ‘Come on in,'” he said.
Republicans are calling on the administration to keep the Title 42 health authority in place until Border Patrol is properly equipped to handle the expected surge of migrants.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” he supports extending the restrictions to give the administration more time to release its plan.
“My hope is that that will be reconsidered appropriately. I know that there are both Republicans and Democrats calling for a reconsideration,” Coons said.
But the White House said extending Title 42 is up to Congress, so if lawmakers want to extend it, they need to act.