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Let’s Talk Border and Immigration Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Anxiety over the pending rescission of the pandemic-era Title 42 restrictions should open the door to broader solutions, at the border and beyond.

Lasting border solutions from Congress and the administration should come in tandem with immigration reforms that address inflation and labor shortages — starting with certainty for those who employ Dreamers, agricultural workers and Temporary Protected Status recipients. The Forum and more than 30 other members of the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus continue to call for such solutions, with media and other events scheduled for Wednesday.

Democrats need to be proactive about immigration, as Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum, wrote Wednesday in The Daily Beast. An excerpt from the piece appears below.

What’s also clear: Title 42 cannot be a crutch.

In March — before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it would rescind Title 42 on May 23 — the number of encounters at the border reached a record 221,303. Of those, 28% were repeat attempts, which Title 42 incentivizes. (Read the Forum’s Title 42 explainer.)

The Biden administration’s forthcoming asylum rule is a helpful step. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security plans to surge resources and personnel to the border. How the administration further implements these steps will be key — as will its leadership on a broader conversation.

“Let’s talk real border solutions. Title 42 clearly isn’t it,” Noorani said. “We’re ready to talk with Democrats and Republicans about smart border security and management, as well as legal-immigration reforms that will help Americans and reduce pressures at our borders.”

From Noorani’s op-ed in The Daily Beast:

Political necessity requires Democrats to get off the immigration dime.

Number one, President Biden needs to explain to the public why a functioning immigration system is fundamental to the health and safety of Americans and their families. The president should lay out his approach to securing the border and managing immigration (aligning the end of Title 42 with the implementation of new asylum procedures) within the existing, antiquated, system.

Which frames his second task: to engage Congress in a process that advances a first tranche of sustainable reforms needed to secure our borders and modernize our immigration system. While the time to advance reforms this year is limited, Congress is not starting from scratch.

… These types of reforms, paired with existing legislation that provides legal immigration pathways which address the growing labor shortage and permanent protections for Dreamers, farm workers, and Temporary Protected Status recipients, is smart policy and smart politics. Such an effort puts Democrats—and reform-minded Republicans—in a position to make the case that a return to Trump-era immigration measures would only exacerbate our problems.


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