WASHINGTON D.C. (WDVM) — Republican senators are taking aim at President Biden as he plans to change a Trump-era policy that could re-open the southern border.
26 Republican senators including West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito are sending a letter to President Biden urging him not to overturn Title 42.
Title 42 is legislation put into place by former President Trump that allowed border patrol agents to turn away migrants trying to cross the border nearly 850,000 times since the start of the pandemic, according to a New York Times article written in June.
The senators are claiming a relaxed border policy would put public health and safety at risk. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven cited the low vaccination rates from countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras as well as Mexico are reasons for Title 42 to continue.
Senator Shelly Moore Capito says that while there are border states that could be more heavily impacted by the reopening of the border, West Virginia will also face the consequences.
In the live-streamed press conference, Sen. Capito claimed the increase in drug overdoses in the Mountain State was due to an increase in drugs crossing over the southern border. She stated the number of overdose deaths in the United States increased by 29% over the last year and was almost double the national average in West Virginia, which saw a 49% increase in overdose deaths.
“It’s fentanyl. It’s methamphetamine and it is coming across the southern border,” Sen. Capito said. “If we divert our manpower and woman-power to these over 180,000 or 170,000 undocumented who are flooding across our border and we are using every single resource we can to meet the human challenge, we’re not disrupting the drug traffickers that are killing Americans, killing families, wrecking communities.”
The letter headed to President Biden’s desk has received 26 signatures from senators across nearly 20 states.