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Congresswoman Erin Houchin Speaking

Source: Congresswoman Erin Houchin / Congresswoman Erin Houchin

WASHINGTON — Tonight Title 42 will come to an end. It has been the long-standing rule throughout the COVID pandemic that was enacted under the Trump Administration that allows the U.S. to quickly deport or turn away migrants at the border to help stop the spread of COVID.

In the latter stages of the pandemic, the provision has been used as a means to help keep the southern border secure from illegal immigration.

Now that the pandemic is over, according to both the White House and the World Health Organization, Title 42 is being allowed to expire, which has many Republicans fearful that there will be an influx of migrants trying to get into the country illegally.

“When Title 42 expires (border patrol) expect a four-fold increase in border crossings every day,” said Rep Erin Houchin of Indiana in a House committee hearing this week. “There can’t be a head-in-the-sand approach on the border. Securing the border is the first step in comprehensive immigration reform.”

She spoke in favor of the Secure the Border Act of 2023 which was discussed among lawmakers in the House Rules Committee. It would resume construction on a border wall that had begun under President Trump. It also cracks down on illegal immigration penalties and provides grants to law enforcement for border security operations.

Houchin criticized President Biden for undoing a lot of the work she says the Trump Administration had done to secure the border.

“(Law enforcement) also need technology. They also need personnel,” Houchin said. “They told me, as part of the Trump Administration, that all of that was planned. Once the Biden Administration took over all of that was out the window.”

Houchin also mentioned the number of overdose deaths, 220, in the last year in her district in southern Indiana. She attributes those deaths to illegal drugs being smuggled across the border.

The White House has sent National Guard soldiers to the border ahead of Title 42’s expiration to help border workers with clerical work and has also been leaning on Mexico for help in managing the expected influx of migrants.

“We’ve been preparing for quite some time, and we are ready,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week.