It’s not just Republicans who are distancing themselves from President Joe Biden in the upcoming elections. Democrats are also having a problem with some of the president’s agenda, especially as it relates to the border crisis.
John Fetterman is the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor and at the front of the pack for the state’s Democratic Senate nomination. He says that he is “100%” behind Biden, but there is one major exception. He does not agree with the plan to end Title 42, the pandemic-related border restrictions.
Fetterman said this weekend that the country should not end Title 42 until there is another plan with details put into place.
“And look, we don’t only need a long-term and detailed plan here for ending Title 42, but we still need to fix our broken immigration system as a whole,” he said.
Fetterman is not a lone voice, there are at least five more Democratic Senate candidates who disagree with the White House administration’s plan to phase out Title 42. This is a glaring problem for Democrats who desperately need the purple states to swing blue in November.
Cheri Beasley is the one experts agree will be the Democratic Senate nominee in North Carolina. She does not believe that this is the right time to end this border policy, especially without a plan in place to deal with the certain influx of migrants.
Sarah Godlewski, the Wisconsin state Treasurer who is running for the Senate in her state, said that there needs to be a plan and it does not look like Biden has one. Her opponent for the Democratic nominee for Senate, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, said that we should have an understanding of a comprehensive plan to meet the influx of those seeking asylum before there are any changes to Title 42.
It’s not just those who are running in the election, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Gary Peters said that his Party’s senators and candidates are “right to raise questions” about the White House policy. Peters, from Michigan, is also the chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee which means he has the power to give oversight to this issue.
Senators in the center politically are leading a charge against the policy and have even signed a bill to delay phasing it out.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ending the restriction at the border is fine because of advances in vaccines and treatments. So federal officials are planning to stop Title 42 on May 23. But there is a growing concern about how the border will be quickly overwhelmed.
The timing of this decision could not be more inopportune for the Democrats. The races for the Senate are heating up and polls show that the voters are heating up as well. Border politics are especially volatile and immigration groups are mounting a stand to leverage even more help from the White House.
Domingo Garcia, the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, “If you have a surge of immigrants at the border, if you have mass catch-and-release policies put in place, I think you’re putting all those Democrats in terrible political jeopardy. It falls into the false narrative of the Republicans, that we have an open border. That’s false, it’s not true. But this could play to that.”
Democrats firmly on the liberal left are letting their voices be heard in support of the Biden agenda. Rep. Val Demings of Florida is challenging Republican Senator Marco Rubio. She defended the president and talked about a plan to get more officials on the border to support law enforcement there.
President Biden is likely to be locked into a long political fight both outside and inside of his Party. And the issue of immigration just might be the reason they lose the majority in the House.