WATCH: Herrell Offers Democrats Opportunity to Keep Title 42 Border Health Protections in Place
WASHINGTON — Every House Republican voting today backed Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.)'s effort to keep Title 42 border health protections in place.
A transcript of the congresswoman's remarks can be found below:
Mr. Speaker, if the previous question is defeated, we will amend the rule to immediately consider my bill HR 471, the PAUSE Act which will preserve and protect Title 42 health restrictions at the border.
The border is in flames. And this crisis is cruel, it’s costly, and it’s cowardice.
Biden’s border crisis is harming my constituents and all Americans. Ranchers cannot let their children play outside for fear of cartel gunmen. In the past, people along the border on the American side in my district have been held at gunpoint, they’ve had vehicles stolen, some have even been kidnapped or worse.
The first duty of a nation is to defend its border and its people. President Biden has been derelict in this duty. Whether it be from the pandemic that continues, or the violent criminals that cross our border in the dark of night.
Sheriffs are reaching out to me. Just like the Border Patrol, they too are overwhelmed. They are seizing record amounts guns, drugs, and smuggled people. Untold numbers of other illicit materials are getting past them. All because President Biden has put politics above the America people.
President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, stated that 1,000 migrants a day was a crisis.
Just in May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 180,034 illegal immigrants along the southwest border, a 20-year monthly high.
That amounts to 5,807 illegal immigrants per day in May. This is a crisis nearly six times greater than the threshold established by President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security.
Title 42 is the only major Trump-era border policy left in place under the administration. As it allows the Border Patrol to quickly expel illegal immigrants, sending them back across the border, instead of placing them in congregate facilities where outbreaks of COVID-19 and other variants are all but guaranteed.
Ending Title 42 would turn what is already a crisis into an unmitigated, uncontrollable, and undeniable catastrophe.”
The pandemic continues to rage in Latin America. And Guatemala and Brazil are both currently around 90 percent of their peak weekly infection rates and, in the past eight months, CBP has encountered more than 170,000 migrants from those two countries alone.
Ending Title 42 now, while fewer than half of American citizens are fully vaccinated, sends the message that illegal immigration is more important than protecting Americans.
Despite the fact Biden wants to let a flood of illegal immigrants enter our country, he clearly believes a public health emergency still exists:
President Biden has placed several COVID-19 travel bans on dozens of countries. These bans remain in place, indicating he thinks the public health emergency is ongoing.
Speaker Pelosi has extended proxy voting in the House, stating there is an on-going “public health emergency' due to COVID.
Mr. Speaker, If Vice President Harris had taken the time to listen to my constituents last week – instead of just talking to immigration activists at the El Paso airport – this administration would learn the effects of their failed policies on our border communities.
That is why I invited her twice to visit my district. If she had cared to respond: She could have heard from the farmers, ranchers, community leaders and residents of our border communities. She could have heard how the crisis is different between gaps in the border wall than it is in major cities like El Paso. And she could have heard from the five county sheriffs in my district who wrote to me in support of keeping Title 42 in place.
This crisis is a double threat and places the security of our nation and the safety of the American people at risk. At minimum we need to keep the last administration’s appropriate use of Title 42 in place. That’s what we could do today if the previous question is defeated.
We must preserve Title 42 border restrictions until all local, state, and federal government restrictions end; until all state and federal public health emergencies end; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 travel risk levels for Canada and Mexico have been reduced to Level 1.