Kelly, Sinema, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Bill Delaying End of Title 42, Ensuring Coordination and Communication with Arizona Border Communities

Senators’ bipartisan bill ensures the Administration works with Arizona border communities and puts a comprehensive plan in place before lifting Title 42

Legislation delays the Administration’s end of Title 42 for at least 60 days

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema and a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation ensuring the Administration coordinates and communicates with border communities and puts a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42. The bill specifically delays the Administration’s planned end to Title 42 for at least 60 days.

“The Biden administration was wrong to set an end date for Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place. It’s why today we are introducing bipartisan legislation requiring this administration to implement a plan before lifting Title 42 that protects the public health and safety of our border communities and migrants. We need a secure, orderly, and humane response at our southern border and our bipartisan legislation holds the Biden administration accountable to that,” said Senator Mark Kelly. 

“Arizona communities bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure at our border, so we’re stepping in and protecting border communities by ensuring the Administration works hand-in-hand with local leaders, law enforcement, and non-profits to put a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42. I’ll continue pushing for transparency and accountability from the Administration to help secure the border, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” said Senator Sinema, Chair of the Border Management Subcommittee.

The Senators’ bill – introduced with Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and John Thune (R-SD) – prevents the Administration from ending the Title 42 emergency authority until at least 60 days after ending the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. After the end of the national emergency, the Department of Homeland Security would have thirty days to submit to Congress a plan to address the impacts of the post-Title 42 migrant influx.

Last week, Senator Mark Kelly and Sinema spoke with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss the Administration’s Title 42 contingency plans. Both senators underscored how Arizona communities and migrants could be harmed if a Title 42 end is not accompanied by proper planning, coordination, and resources. Kelly emphasized the need for proactive engagement and clear communications between the Department of Homeland Security, Congressional offices, local officials, sheriffs, and local governments. He also asked Secretary Mayorkas for details on how the increased funding Kelly and Sinema secured in the omnibus for border management and security will be used, especially as Title 42 is lifted. Sinema also raised concerns she heard from her recent virtual border roundtable with federal and non-governmental partners in Arizona, and other conversations she has had with Arizona DHS officials. Sinema called for DHS to launch an intergovernmental coordination effort to ensure communication between federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to strengthen cooperation. Secretary Mayorkas agreed to move forward with that strategy across the country. 

Recently, Kelly and Sinema sent a letter to President Biden expressing concerns that an abrupt end to Title 42 enforcement without a comprehensive response plan in place could harm Arizona communities and migrants and greatly increase the strain on the Department of Homeland Security, and local nonprofits that are already near or at capacity due to the current border crisis. Kelly and Sinema’s letter states that Title 42 authority should not be used indefinitely, but points out that migrants and Arizona communities could be harmed if an ending to Title 42 is not accompanied by proper planning, coordination, and resources. 

Last June, Kelly and Sinema asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to proactively create a comprehensive plan in advance of an end to Title 42 and requested to be briefed on this plan. In their most recent letter, the Senators say they have not seen evidence that DHS has developed and implemented a sufficient plan. Recently, Kelly and Sinema secured critical federal funding to help Arizona manage the current migrant crisis, improve border security, and keep Arizona communities safe.