Texas bill calls for deportation of Title 42 migrants until COVID-19 mandate, state of emergency lifted

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FOX FIRST: A bill introduced in the Texas Legislature this week would keep Title 42 in place at the state level until the federal public health emergency for COVID-19, along with travel orders and warnings, is lifted as the Lone Star State struggles. combating historic increases in illegal immigration.

The bill was introduced by former Trump-era Health and Human Services (HHS) chief Brian Harrison, who implemented the Title 42 health care order when the administration implemented it in March 2020. Rapid deportation of migrants to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Biden administration tried to end the order last year, but a federal judge blocked it in response to a GOP lawsuit. He has since faced another lawsuit seeking to stop the eviction, saying the order was illegal. This claim will be heard in the Supreme Court later this year.

Amid this uncertainty, migration to the southern border continues to rise, with more than 200,000 encounters for months, including El Paso, Texas, which has declared a state of emergency. Federal officials estimate that migrant encounters could reach 14,000 a day after the health order ends.

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Migrant camp in El Paso, Texas, December 13, 2022.
(Fox News/John Michael Raasch)

Because the status of Title 42 is uncertain, Harrison’s bill would codify it for Texas, using state police powers. It would require non-U.S. citizens to enter through ports of entry, but would require the return of all illegal immigrants between ports of entry.

This will be in place until there is a federal public health emergency for COVID-19 and any form of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate is in place. In addition, it will keep it in place until the State Department has a COVID-19 travel advisory for all countries of illegal immigrant origin.

“Biden willfully opens the southern border to human traffickers, cartels and millions of unvetted illegal aliens while keeping Americans under the federal COVID public health emergency and tyrannical vaccine mandates,” Harrison said in a statement. “We can’t have it either way. Texas is the first hit, the hardest hit, and we as a sovereign state must fight back using all the tools available to us.”

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The bill represents the latest example in Texas of Republican officials trying to take matters into their own hands when it comes to securing the border amid a lack of leadership from the federal government.

Texas has built its own wall along its border, while also driving migrants deeper inland — causing the state to push back on the liberal cities that send them. Governor Greg Abbott declared an “invasion” of the southern border in November, turning illegal migrants back across the border.

Ken Cuccinelli, a former Trump-era DHS assistant secretary, pushed for the states to declare the takeover and blamed Abbott for not using the declaration to send migrants back to Mexico itself. Harrison’s Law as an important additional step.

“During the last two years of the Biden administration, we urged Governor Abbott to declare an invasion and use his war powers to return illegal immigrants to Mexico and prevent cartels from taking immediate control of our border. It didn’t happen,” said Cuccinelli, now at the Center for American Renewal. “We are encouraged that the Texas Legislature and Representative Brian Harrison are using the authority at their disposal to move this issue forward to keep Texans and Americans safe.”

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The bill shows that the action taking place at the state level is similar to a new legislative initiative by House Republicans. After taking control of the House there, Republicans introduced several bills to defuse the crisis at the southern border.

The Biden administration recently announced an expanded parole program and expanded 42 deportations, but urged Congress to pass an immigration bill introduced on its first day.

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“This work will not be done until Congress passes and funds the immigration plan that it proposed on day one,” he said in a speech at the White House earlier this month.

But Republicans did not want the bill to include a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants in the country.

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