Clip: Biden moves to end Title 42 amid backlash on Capitol Hill over migrant surge

Apr. 29, 2022 AT 5:19 p.m. EDT

President Biden is facing pressure from Republicans and Democrats over his repeal of a Trump-era immigration restriction known as Title 42. The policy has forced migrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico because of health concerns during the pandemic. Now, the Department of Homeland Security is focusing on how to handle a likely influx of migrants if Title 42 is lifted.

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Alcindor : I want to switch a little bit to talk about Title 42, Hans, because the other thing they are struggling with is what to do with Title 42 and all the migrants that are remaining in Mexico.

Nichols : Look, it’s a clear political headache, right? On the COVID funding, they want options. They want insurance. There is a sense especially, and I yield to you on this, that the Democratic senators that are in tough reelections want Title 42 extended, and the White House is on record saying that the CDC says we should repeal it. They are in a difficult position.

You talk about the connection of a lot of these funding bills. Is it pretty clear to you that Title 42 will be attached to either the Ukraine funding for the COVID funding?

Killion : I think it is too early to tell. There were also this week bipartisan negotiations around immigration.

Alcindor : And hearings as well that you covered.

Killion : Exactly. And so, there has been -- there have been calls for comprehensive immigration reform, and we heard the homeland security secretary made a point to a number of lawmakers who were criticizing him and the administration that President Biden put forth a plan on day one. And so, that being said, it is a very complicated issue. I think so long as things are stuck in the courts, puts Congress in a holding pattern. From some of the Congress members I talked to as to if they will move forward with attaching provisions to another bill, you know, it remains to be seen.

I did want to touch on Michaels point on COVID because is its a delicate dance. I think as far as Democrats messaging, because what some lawmakers have told me is we have to live with this. We know Democrats a lot of times were masked up. There were masked mandates on the house floor.

But it is something I think that, you know, as we as the public come to accept, so I lawmakers. So, it’s not necessarily an easy decision for any of them in terms of deciding what to go to, what not to go to, and there is just going to be a risk.

Alcindor : And, Michael, in the 30 seconds we have left here, you obviously wrote a book on immigration. Summarize if you can the politics of all this, given what we saw with Democrats being very critical of President Trump when he had Title 42 going.

Shear : Right. I mean, the truth is that immigration is a mess and headache for every president regardless of party. Republicans are gearing up yet again to make illegal immigration a campaign issue this fall, and Democrats, particularly the ones in the moderate, middle-of-the-road districts -- they are very worried about that happening, and that political concern and that political dynamic on both sides is what is really driving the question over Title 42 and all of the other border issues.

Alcindor : And here, to you, I give you literally five seconds, January 6 public hearings are happening. Is that going to be a big deal?

Killion : June 9th, eight hearings in June. That’s according to the chair, Bennie Thompson.

Alcindor : Huge news there. I hope you’ll cover all of that.

Thank you so much to Michael, Nikole and Hans for joining us, for sharing your reporting.

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