West Virginia Senators Manchin, Capito Reintroduce Public Health and Border Security Act

Opioid deaths have devastated the Appalachian region of the United States, and West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators are asking their federal colleagues to take further action to address the crisis, including enhanced border security. Democrat Senator Joe Manchin joined Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, to lead a bipartisan group of Senators in reintroducing the Public Health and Border Security Act.

The act would require all COVID-19 related national states of emergency to be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated. The legislation would also require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to put in place a workable plan to manage the chaos at the border. 

In an press release, Senator Manchin stated “The immigration crisis at our southern border threatens to overwhelm our broken immigration system. I am proud to join my bipartisan colleagues in introducing this important legislation to ensure Title 42 stays in place, even if the current public health emergency ends, until the Administration develops a plan to handle the anticipated migrant surge once Title 42 is repealed. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Administration to pass comprehensive, bipartisan immigration legislation that addresses the crisis we are facing,”

In the same press release, Capito echoed Manchin’s concerns about the problems on the country’s southern border with Mexico.

“It’s unacceptable that we are still experiencing record amounts of illegal crossings at our southern border, but I am encouraged that a bipartisan group of senators realize the path this administration is taking is dangerous and untenable,” Capito said. “I have long been outspoken regarding President Biden’s crisis on our southern border, and how his administration’s policies have made the situation worse. Ending Title 42 only adds to those challenges in a way we simply are not prepared to handle. This bill provides direction, something that is desperately needed in light of the administration’s decision to end Title 42.”

Last week, President Joe Biden announced on Monday that all COVID-19 related health emergencies will end on May 11. Title 42 Authority has been a vital tool for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to quickly expel migrants crossing the border illegally.

On January 5, 2023, Senator Manchin released a statement on the Biden Administration’s decision to expand the CDC’s Title 42 order to include Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua, along with other actions including surging resources to the border. 

On Dec. 19, 2022, Senators Manchin and Capito released a statement responding to the Supreme Court’s order to stay the DC District Court’s decision to overturn the CDC’s Title 42 order. Senator Manchin stated the order is critical to maintaining operational control of the border but is not a permanent solution.

On December 13, 2022, Senator Manchin led a group of bipartisan lawmakers in urging President Biden to extend the CDC’s Title 42 order, set to expire on December 21, 2022.

On April 7, 2022, Senator Manchin led a group of bipartisan lawmakers in introducing the Public Health and Border Security Act to require all COVID-19 related national states of emergency to be lifted before Title 42 is officially terminated.

 On April 1, 2022Senator Manchin released a statement responding to the Biden Administration’s decision to end the Title 42 policy. Senator Manchin stated the Title 42 is essential to combat the spread of COVID-19 and manage the influx of migrants at southern border.

On March 29, 2022, Senator Manchin called on the CDC to extend the Title 42 due to rising COVID-19 cases across the globe and record migrant encounters. 

On September 29. 2021, Senator Manchin led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers in introducing the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act to provide state and local law enforcement with high-tech devices to detect and identify dangerous drugs like fentanyl, including at U.S. ports of entry.

On April 2, 2021, Senator Manchin visited and toured the U.S.-Mexico Border. Senator Manchin visited the World Trade Bridge to meet with officials from CBP and the City of Laredo to discuss cross border international trade and visited the Holding Institute to meet with migrant families and see the impact of the increase in migrant individuals released at the southern border.

Matt O'Hern
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