In 2020, then-Sen. Kamala Harris was among the 10 Democratic senators who signed a letter to former Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, accusing the Trump administration of violating federal law in using the pandemic as justification for closing the border with Mexico.
The Biden administration has continued to use the Trump-era policy, often dubbed Title 42 in reference to the U.S. code, to effectively seal the border. It does so under the argument that migrants trying to cross could pose a health risk during the Covid outbreak.
More than 60 House Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to end the policy, saying it has no legal basis. Dozens of public health experts say it has “no scientific basis as a public health measure.” Immigration advocates have filed legal challenges as well.
Harris’ silence on Title 42 illuminates the binds that she — and the Biden administration writ large — have faced upon taking office. Biden officials are trying to fulfill their campaign promises on immigration but have found that quickly reversing Trump’s policies can create an abundance of political headaches and contribute to a host of other problems, including trying to process and house a record number of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border.
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