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Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan warned on Sunday that the Biden administration’s move to end the use of the Title 42 public health order to expel migrants at the border will create “chaos all across the border.”
The policy, used since March 2020 under both Presidents Trump and Biden, provided the ability for American officials to bar migrants from entering the country during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, the Biden administration confirmed it will terminate the policy at the end of May despite objections from both Democrats and Republicans warning that it would trigger a massive migrant wave.
“I think Democrats are too little too late,” Homan told “Fox News Live” on Sunday, arguing that the numbers of those crossing the border illegally have been “exploding since last year, and you didn’t hear a word from them.”
An image of Tom Homan from ‘America Reports’ on Fox News. (Fox News)
“So I think it’s all about midterm elections,” he continued.
The administration has acknowledged a potential migrant surge, as it has been preparing for up to 18,000 migrants a day.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last month claimed that the Department of Homeland Security has “put in place a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants encountered at our border.”
“The Border Patrol is already overwhelmed. If Title 42 goes away, it’s going to be chaos all across the border,” Homan stressed.
A federal judge is expected to determine the fate of the Biden administration’s plan to lift Title 42 within days in response to a lawsuit brought by two dozen Republican states that claims lifting the public health order will lead to a bigger crisis at the southern border.
Judge Robert Summerhays of the Western District of Louisiana heard arguments Friday about the request for a preliminary injunction on the Biden administration’s plan to end Title 42 this month.
States led by Arizona, Missouri and Louisiana sued, claiming the move by the Centers for Disease Control to lift the order violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires a notice-and-comment period and also bars moves deemed “arbitrary and capricious.”
The lawsuit claims the administration failed to estimate or account for the costs to the states. They cite “increased health care costs for aliens infected with COVID-19 and the cost of increased illegal immigration caused by the Termination Order and the presence of much greater numbers of paroled aliens with non-meritorious asylum claims who were induced to enter the United States because of the Termination Order.”
The states are seeking a preliminary injunction but have already won smaller victories in a related push for a temporary restraining order to stop the Biden administration from transitioning away from Title 42 expulsions and instead using expedited removal as the May 23 date approaches.
Summerhays granted the temporary restraining order last month and extended it earlier this week.
Attorneys for the Justice Department argued Friday that the CDC was within its authority to lift an emergency health restriction it felt was no longer warranted at this stage of the pandemic, reiterating that Title 42 is a health policy, not an immigration measure.
“There is no basis to use Title 42 as a safety valve,” the DOJ’s Jean Lin told the judge.
When asked what’s the answer to the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border, Homan stressed the importance of reimplementing “the Trump policies I was involved with.”
“When I worked for President Trump, we created a multitude of policies that drove immigration to a 35, 40-year low,” he continued, noting that “illegal immigration was down over 80%.”
He also noted on Sunday that “the immigration system is broken and should be fixed, but they [officials with te Biden administration] have to secure the border first.”
“That’s imperative because of the national security issue,” Homan argued.
There were 221,000-plus migrant encounters in March, and that number is expected to have risen in April. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has not yet released figures for April.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.