Defense and National Security – Biden Administration Ends Title 42

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AP Photo/Christian Chavez

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The Biden administration rescinded Title 42, the Trump-era policy that allowed for rapid border deportations.

We will detail the decision and examine the change of command at US Central Command.

For The Hill, I’m Jordan Williams. Email me with advice at jwilliams@thehill.com.

Let’s go.

Biden overturns controversial Title 42

The Biden administration on Friday rescinded Title 42, the Trump-era policy that allows for the rapid deportation of migrants at the border and bars them from seeking asylum.

The move comes after years of pressure from within President Biden’s own party and frustration from immigration advocates who had pushed to end a policy they saw as illegal and cruel to those fleeing persecution and the danger.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order lifts Title 42 on May 23.

About Title 42: Although devised by the Trump administration just days into the pandemic, Title 42 has been used an estimated 1.7 million times by the Biden administration, a figure that includes repeat cruisers.

Although Biden administration officials have consistently asserted that this is an important public health order necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19 at border facilities, the implementation of the Title 42 pandemic had political origins.

Trump’s White House adviser Stephen Miller has led the charge to inject coronavirus protections into border management policy.

The legal battle: The planned withdrawal comes after a series of conflicting court rulings over the policy, one ordering the administration to expand the policy by applying it to children traveling alone, while a separate court ruling imposed new limits, prohibiting sending families subject to Title 42 to places where they risk being tortured or persecuted.

The Second Order criticized the Biden administration for sticking to its public health argument for Title 42 even as the world has made progress in learning to live with the pandemic.

In response, the CDC a few days later rescinded the children’s policy and noted that it would pursue a broader review of the order through March 30.

Prepare for an influx: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has signaled that it is preparing for an influx of migrants at the border, which it says could result from typical spring migration patterns or the lifting of Title 42.

The numbers could climb to 18,000 crossings a day, from around 7,000 currently, as the administration ramps up housing, transportation, medical and treatment capacity to cope with the surge.

“Once the Title 42 order is no longer in effect, DHS will treat people encountered at the border in accordance with Title 8, which is the standard procedure we use to place people in removal proceedings,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

“Nevertheless, we know that smugglers will spread false information to take advantage of vulnerable migrants. Let’s be clear: those who are unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be deported.

SOME DEMOCRATS PUSHED BACK

Several Democrats pushed back against Biden’s decision.

Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) called the decision a “scary decision” that would likely increase the volume of migrants at the southern border.

“Title 42 has been an essential tool in combating the spread of COVID-19 and controlling the influx of migrants to our southern border. We are already facing an unprecedented increase in the number of migrants this year, and it will only get worse if the administration ends the Title 42 policy,” Manchin warned.

Centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) joined Manchin in pushing back against the administration, warning that it would “endanger the health and safety” of her constituents. She was backed by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona), one of the GOP’s top targets in the November midterm elections.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (DN.H.), who faces a re-election race this fall, also criticized the administration’s decision.

“Prematurely ending Title 42 will likely result in a wave of migrants that the administration doesn’t seem ready for,” she tweeted Friday. “I will continue to push the administration to strengthen border security and look forward to hearing directly from border agents on my next trip to the border.”

McKenzie hands over control of Centcom

The chief general of US military operations in the Middle East and Central Asia left his command on Friday at a ceremony in Florida.

navy general Frank McKenziewho had headed U.S. Central Command (Centcom) since March 2019, handed over his post to Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla during a change of command ceremony in Tampa, Florida.

A look back at McKenzie’s tenure: While at the helm of Centcom, McKenzie oversaw key US military moments, including the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan – a move he and other defense leaders have recommended against – as well as Iran’s aggression, the transition of coalition forces in Iraq to an advisory role. and the multinational battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

He also carried out President Trump’s order to kill Iran’s elite Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani in January 2020, a move that prompted a missile attack on Iraq’s al-Asad air base that housed American troops.

What Kurilla gets into: Commander of the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina since October 2019, Kurilla arrives at Centcom at a time of precarious security conditions around the world, including the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and the attempted recruitment of fighters in Syria and elsewhere in the region. .

He also takes command as the US government grapples with a reduced presence in the Middle East following its withdrawal from Afghanistan, a situation that could lead to the rapid re-establishment of al-Qaeda and Islamic State in the country, he warned during his confirmation hearing. in February.

Read the full story here.

US SANCTIONS NORTH KOREAN ENTITIES FOR MISSILE TESTS

The United States imposed sanctions on five North Korean entities on Friday after Pyongyang launched a series of ballistic missile tests this year, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The Treasury Department said the sanctions would restrict North Korea’s ability to secure financial and material support.

Who was sanctioned? The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the sanctions targeted the Ministry of Rocket Industry (MoRI), a research and development organization linked to ICBM development, as well as four of the generating subsidiaries. of the organization’s income.

The four subsidiaries are Hapjanggang Trading Corporation, Korea Rounsan Trading Corporation, Sungnisan Trading Corporation and Unchon Trading Corporation.

The missile tests: North Korea has fired a slew of missiles this year, including a record number of tests in January alone.

In late March, leader Kim Jong Un launched the country’s longest-range ICBM to date, which is potentially capable of reaching the American mainland.

President Biden met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida while in Brussels in late March to discuss the launch.

Read the full story here.

US SCRAPS MISSILE TEST TO AVOID RUSSIAN ‘MISINTERPRETATION’: REPORT

The Pentagon has officially abandoned a test launch of a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to avoid a Russian “misinterpretation”, NBC News reported on Friday.

The test launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile has been canceled over fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin considers the move an escalation, Defense Ministry officials told NBC.

“The Air Force Department recently canceled the test flight of an LGM-30G Minuteman III missile,” Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Todd Breasseale said in a statement. “The launch had previously been delayed due to an overabundance of caution to avoid misinterpretation or miscommunication during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

The Department of Defense had previously postponed the Minuteman III test. In early March, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the postponement of a launch “for the purpose of demonstrating that we have no intention of engaging in any actions which may be misunderstood or misinterpreted”, he told then press secretary John Kirby to reporters.

The order came after Putin alarmed Western powers when he ordered Kremlin nuclear forces to be placed on high alert amid international condemnation and crippling financial sanctions against Russia for its attack on Ukraine.

Learn more here.

IN SERVICE NEXT WEEK

WHAT WE READ

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