GOP Senators Push To Extend Title 42 As Expiration Nears For Border Policy

A Honduran migrant gives a thumbs-up as he walks with other migrants in hopes of reaching the U.S. border, in Chiquimula, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. Guatemalan authorities estimated that as many as 9,000 Honduran migrants crossed into Guatemala as part of an effort to form a new caravan to reach the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)
  • A group of Republican senators, led by Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., are re-introducing legislation that would allow Title 42 public health to be used to protect the U.S. from drug smuggling — just as the order’s use due to the COVID-19 pandemic is about to end.
  • The Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act would add the prevention of drug smuggling as an additional justification for the use of Title 42 — which gives border agents the authority to quickly expel migrants at the southern border. It is currently only allowed to prevent communicable diseases.
  • The order has been in place since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will soon end on May 11 along with the public health emergency for the pandemic. Its looming end has renewed fears from lawmakers and officials that the end of the order will be followed by a fresh migrant surge at the southern border.