Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin has found herself at odds with the Biden Administration.
The 8th District Democrat joined with fellow CIA alum Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia), to send a letter this week to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, urging the Biden administration to delay lifting Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic restriction that effectively blocked migrants from entering the United States. As written, that section of the U.S. code allows removals by the federal government of persons who have recently been in a country where a communicable disease was present.
Opponents have said the law was enacted for purely political motivations, not public health concerns. Despite that, the Biden Administration had declined to end it until earlier this month when it said the law would end on May 23rd.
Both Slotkin and Spanberger are requesting a delay until a comprehensive plan is ready to “address the inevitable migration surge” at the U.S. southern border.
“We are concerned about how DHS will contend with an increase of people – including children and families – that will more than triple the department’s capacity without ample and robust planning,” the Representatives wrote. “And while the administration gave itself two months to prepare, what has been shared with us to date seems like too little, too late – especially when the removal of Title 42 will occur at the same time that a spike in seasonal migration occurs.”
Slotkin and Spanberger – both national security professionals who served in the CIA – recommended that the administration also expand options for “in-country immigration processing in Central America” to make applying for legal status outside the U.S. a viable option and to free up resources for asylum seekers at the border. The Congresswomen also reiterated the need for the administration and Congress to work together on comprehensive immigration reform that will secure the border in the long-term while also making legal immigration – tied to the U.S.’s economic needs – easier.
In February, Slotkin introduced the bipartisan INTEL At Our Borders Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to apply cutting edge technology to help secure the border. It remains in committee.
A similar bill was also introduced by Slotkin in 2020, but failed to advance despite being endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
The full letter from Slotkin and Spanberger can be read by Clicking Here.