The House Appropriations Committee passed a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill with many pro-immigrant points on Friday. But they were overshadowed by an amendment that would maintain Title 42 explosions for 180 days after the Covid-19 national emergency expires. The DHS also couldn’t use normal immigration laws to process anyone who “would have been” rejected under Title 42.
Such a law could create chaos at the border. After the CDC ends Title 42, the DHS would lack authority to expel people, but also couldn’t process them under normal immigration laws.
The Chairwoman spoke against the amendment, but it passed without anyone voting “no”. But that doesn’t mean it will become law.
DHS funding is one of the most debated of the 12 bills that fund the federal government, and Congress often fails to pass it. Instead, DHS is funded with short-term “continuing resolutions” that are simply based on last year’s spending.
However, the bill has many positive points:
- Limit ICE detainees to 25,000
- $40 million for phone access for detainees
- $20 million for legal access for detainees
- Environmental repair at the border
- $100 million in border surveillance technologies
- $50 million for non-intrusive inspection technology
- Exempt children granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status from visa caps
- Recapture hundreds of thousands of unused green cards
- Give second chance to Diversity Visa applicants denied under Trump
But the message of support for continuing Title 42 overshadows these positives. Hopefully, the House of Representatives will change the amendment before passing the DHS bill.