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Senator Mark Kelly warns, Arizona unprepared for surge when Title 42 lifts

Kelly sponsoring legislation to postpone lifting Title 42
Posted: 2:50 PM, Apr 13, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-13 18:20:57-04
Sen. Kelly Makes Fifth Visit to Southern Border, Highlights Need for Comprehensive Plan and Resources Ahead of Premature Title 42 Lift

DOUGLAS, Ariz. (KGUN) — COVID concerns led the government to block a lot of asylum seekers and expedite deportations.

President Joe Biden is planning to end that system soon.

That’s causing concern in some people about a flood of immigration and Senator Mark Kelly went to Douglas to learn more about the impact.

Sen. Kelly Makes Fifth Visit to Southern Border, Highlights Need for Comprehensive Plan and Resources Ahead of Premature Title 42 Lift
Kelly listens to Douglas business owners and officials on April 13, 2022 on impact of lifting Title 42 — In March 2022, Kelly urged President Biden to not end Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place, which had followed a June 2021 letter urging Mayorkas to develop such a plan.

The immigration system was already jammed with a backlog of asylum seekers waiting for hearings on whether they are allowed into the U.S.

President Biden has now set Monday, May 23 as the date to remove Trump-era restrictions known as Title 42. Title 42 is actually a CDC rule designed to reduce the chance of more cases of COVID-19 entering from Mexico.

RELATED: Arizona sues the Biden Administration over Title 42

It’s effect may make it harder to enter the country when applying for asylum.

Senator Mark Kelly says it’s easy to see lifting Title 42 will lead to a surge of immigrants, but he does not see any sign of a plan to handle the surge.

"I warned them about this months ago, talking to CBP about it and the Department of Homeland Security, and they do not have a plan in place on how to deal with the increased numbers. And it's going to be ... to be honest, it's going to be a crisis on top of a crisis.” ~Senator Mark Kelly

Sen. Kelly says he needs to see a plan for everything from buses for moveing migrants, to places to house them, to more judges hearing their asylum requests.

He's pushing legislation to postpone lifting Title 42 until those plans exist.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW FOR SENATOR KELLY'S COMPLETE STATEMENT

Senator Mark Kelly at Douglas port of entry

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. Craig enjoys the way reporting can be a passport to interesting experiences. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand and his work has been recognized with numerous awards. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.