Governor Ducey Sends Letter To Arizona Congressional Delegation Urging Continuation Of Title 42 Protections At The Border

News Release

July 16, 2021

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey is calling on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden-Harris administration not to lift Title 42 border protections. In a letter sent today, the Governor expressed Arizona’s grave concern about reports the Biden administration plans to roll back Title 42 border protections imminently.

“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” the Governor wrote to Arizona’s two U.S. Senators and nine U.S. Representatives.

The Governor’s letter to the delegation comes after he urged Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle P. Walensky on Tuesday not to lift Title 42.

“Lifting Title 42 now would prohibit the vast majority of those expulsions and result in hundreds of thousands of additional migrants entering the United States and being permitted to stay, without a plan to test or vaccinate those that may spread not just COVID-19 but also the numerous variants that are beginning to spread throughout the world and are deadlier than COVID-19 itself,” Governor Ducey states in the letter. “It is clear that the Biden administration does not have a plan, the resources, the facilities, or indeed the ability to deal with the unaccompanied minors and families currently being permitted to cross.”

Governor Ducey recently signed into law more than $55 million in funding for the Arizona National Guard border mission and assistance for local law enforcement with border security operations. Governor Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked all U.S. governors to send available law enforcement resources to Arizona and Texas to assist with border security efforts. Governor Ducey and 19 fellow governors also wrote a letter calling on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to reverse their destructive policies that have created the crisis at the southern border. 

For a signed copy of the letter, click HERE.

View the letter below.

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Dear Members of Arizona’s Congressional Delegation,

This week I sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky expressing Arizona’s grave concern about reports the Biden administration plans to roll back Title 42 border protections imminently. I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections.

Should the Biden administration choose to end these protections, they would be causing nothing short of a catastrophic surge of both illegal immigration and COVID-19 disease along our southern border. As Arizona continues to deal with the man-made crisis at our border, ending Title 42 will threaten the health and safety of not only Arizonans, but all Americans, and our already broken border will explode, overwhelming border patrol, law enforcement, non-profits and health care professionals. By lifting this policy, the Biden administration will be responsible for not only exacerbating our border crisis, but in effect, proactively and knowingly importing COVID-19 variants into the United States, starting in border states like Arizona. 

Under Title 42, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may prohibit the entry of individuals into the country when “there is a serious danger of the introduction of a communicable disease into the United States.” Since the implementation of the Title 42 order, we have all seen that other countries — especially those south of the United States — have had difficulty in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to struggle with testing and vaccination of those in their countries. 

Title 42 has ensured that the risk posed by migration to the United States of those to our southern border is mitigated to protect our citizens. In March, April, and May of this year alone, Title 42 has allowed Customs and Border Protection to swiftly expel over 329,000 individuals who had crossed into the United States without legal authorization to do so. Lifting Title 42 now would prohibit the vast majority of those expulsions and result in hundreds of thousands of additional migrants entering the United States and being permitted to stay, without a plan to test or vaccinate those that may spread not just COVID-19 but also the numerous variants that are beginning to spread throughout the world and are deadlier than COVID-19 itself. 

It is clear that the Biden administration does not have a plan, the resources, the facilities, or indeed the ability to deal with the unaccompanied minors and families currently being permitted to cross. In fact, the administration has resorted to using hotels and motels with little monitoring to house these unaccompanied minors and families due to the lack of infrastructure available to support such an influx of migrants. Adding hundreds of thousands of single adults will only exacerbate the problem.

The Biden administration has stated that “now is not the time for migrants to come to the US Border,” but revoking Title 42 is tantamount to issuing a cordial invitation and will certainly be used as such in communications by the cartels and human smugglers that entice people in Central America to make the dangerous journey north in order to turn a profit. These organizations have very little concern for the well-being of those being trafficked let alone those in the United States.

An open-borders strategy is never wise, but it is an even worse idea right now, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in many countries south of our border. Title 42 is one of the only measures remaining in place which allows not only the federal authorities but also state and local public health professionals to maintain public health that they have worked so hard for over the past 17 months of this pandemic. To continue to ensure the safety and security that we have achieved in this country following the COVID-19 outbreak, our borders cannot withstand a surge in migration that the lifting of Title 42 will cause. 

With legal travel still limited between the United States, Mexico and Canada due to the pandemic, and the administration continuing to advocate for federal, state and local restrictions on schools and private businesses, lifting Title 42 would be nothing short of outrageous and an insult to all Americans who have been forced to deal with these restrictions.

I am strongly urging the Biden administration to keep the Title 42 order in place until all other COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and the United States has some assurances that those countries to our south have implemented strategies to protect against its spread.

I respectfully request your assistance and advocacy on this critical matter. Thank you for your consideration of these issues and please let our office know if there is anything we can do to assist as you are representing our state in Washington D.C.


Sincerely,


Douglas A. Ducey
Governor
State of Arizona

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