President Joe Biden is standing by his decision to send 1,500 troops to the southern U.S. border ahead of what‘s expected to be a huge surge in migrants when Title 42 Covid restrictions expire on May 11. He said he‘s asked Congress for help in terms of what they need at the border, like more agents and people to clear people.
“The troops are there to free up the border agents who need to be on the border, and another thousand people are coming in to be asylum judges – to make decisions and move things along.”
But critics on both sides of the aisle have called it political theater and said the president had plenty of time to come up with a response. The Biden admin is also ending the pandemic–era policy that let them quickly expel people from the country.
El Paso, the Texas border city, has declared a state of emergency in preparation for a potential influx of more than 35,000 asylum seekers who are currently stuck in the Mexican sister city of Juárez.
Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat and chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, said Biden’s decision to send troops was unacceptable.
“Trying to score political points or intimidate migrants by sending the military to the border caters to the Republican party’s xenophobic attacks on our asylum system,” Menendez said in a statement.
Immigration advocates are not having it. Bilal Askaryar from the #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign said on Twitter, “People seeking asylum should be met with humanitarian professionals, welcoming volunteers, and medical and mental health professionals. Not soldiers.”
As Title 42 comes to an end tomorrow, it’s disappointing to see the Biden Admin chose to move forward with a harmful transit ban that fundamentally limits access to our nation’s asylum system.— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) May 10, 2023
My joint statement w/ @SenatorLujan and @SenAlexPadilla ahead of the end of Title 42⬇️ pic.twitter.com/DRjuwwoK1k