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Arizona AG sues Biden administration over Title 42

Mexico Immigration Arizona
Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 21:04:26-04

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is suing President Joe Biden's administration for planning to end a policy that allows asylum seekers to be turned away at the border.

Title 42 is a policy where immigrants or asylum seekers are quickly removed from the country in order to curb the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S.

The policy was created under President Donald Trump and has been in use throughout the pandemic.

However, the federal government recently announced plans to do away with the policy because the number of COVID cases is going down.

Still, Brnovich and attorneys general from two other states are suing the Biden administration because they said it will lead to a worse situation at the border.

"I can't imagine removing one of the few remaining tools we have to stop this -- we will see illegal immigration double," he said.

"They're talking about 500,000 people a month," he added.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there have been more than 838,000 encounters in the southwest along the U.S.-Mexico border since the start of the 2022 fiscal year.

That's a 111% increase compared to the same time frame in 2021.

A spokesperson with Customs and Border Protection told ABC15 that the state is seeing different groups of immigrants coming into the state.

According to CBP, in Yuma, middle-class migrants from non-traditional countries are flying into Mexicali and Tijuana and coming across with baggage and surrendering.

Meanwhile, in Tucson, traditional migrants are paying a smuggler to bring them through the mountains and deserts and trying to evade apprehension.

Brnovich said it's not just people coming across. There's also a lot of drug trafficking.

"We know there's been a record amount of fentanyl and methamphetamine is flowing into our state," he said.

Brnovich said the increase in problems at the border could lead to violence in metro areas like Phoenix.

"If you've talked to anyone that's had loved one lose their life as a result of a fentanyl overdose...we have to do everything we can to protect hardworking Arizona taxpayers," he said.

Even though the lawsuit was filed by Republicans, the decision to remove Title 42 has become a hot topic among Democrats as well.

Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly say ending Title 42 without a plan puts Arizona communities and migrants at risk.

When asked about the bipartisan support to keep Title 42 in place, Brnovich said, "We're seeing a record amount of people, a record amount of drugs, a record amount of profits for cartels so I think there's even Democrats that recognize this is completely unsustainable and quite frankly it's unamerican."

The policy is scheduled to end on May 23.