Reps. Roy and Herrell Unveil Effort to Force a Vote on Reinstating Trump’s COVID Restrictions at the Border

April 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — On Monday evening, Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) filed a rule to force a vote on legislation to reinstate enforcement of President Donald Trump’s Title 42 COVID protocols at the southern border.

The rule, H. Res. 216, would force a House vote on Rep. Yvette Herrell’s “Protecting Americans from Unnecessary Spread upon Entry from COVID–19 Act of 2021” or the “PAUSE Act of 2021” would stop the massive influx of illegal immigration at our southern border and provide a common sense solution to managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Biden Administration has sought to end title 42 enforcement, allowing for thousands of individuals to illegally enter our borders each month during a pandemic and a border crisis.

The PAUSE Act requires Title 42 remain in effect until:

  • All state and federal lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, curfews, and other COVID-19 mandates end;
  • All public and federal public health emergencies for COVID-19 end; and
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) traveler health risk level for Canada and Mexico is reduced to Level 1. 

“When the new administration came in, President Biden ended President Trump’s Title 42 enforcement for thousands of children and families, and he may still decide to end enforcement altogether, all to appease his anti-borders base,” said Rep. Roy. “Suspending Title 42 enforcement in part has already signaled to cartels and coyotes that the era of catch and release has returned, and encouraged them to expand their atrocious operations across our border and into our communities.  What remaining enforcement the administration has left in place is the one thing standing between the current crisis — as bad as it is — and a full-scale rush on our southern border. With Congresswoman Herrell’s legislation and this discharge petition, Congress has the power to override this administration’s reckless policies now and prevent this crisis from getting worse. There is no reason that we shouldn’t vote on this as soon as possible; I look forward to finding out how many of my colleagues in each party agree.”

“Title 42 border health protections may be the only thing keeping Biden’s border crisis from becoming a full-blown catastrophe,” said Rep. Herrell. “Congress must act to ensure Border Patrol keeps their authority to quickly expel migrants who have or may have been exposed to COVID-19.”

Reps. Roy and Herrell’s discharge petition will ultimately bring Rep. Herrell’s PAUSE Act to the House Floor for consideration upon receiving 218 signatures.

The PAUSE Act has the support of NumbersUSA, FAIR, and Heritage Action.

"It is absolutely critical, as this pandemic continues, that the protections put into place by Executive Branch agencies under the last administration are kept in place," said Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA. "Americans have enough challenges trying to find or maintain employment and keep themselves and their families healthy without having to worry whether the Biden administration is allowing potentially infected foreigners into the United States to worsen the risk for all of us."

"The Pause Act is a common sense bill that calls on the Executive Branch to continue focusing on protecting Americans," Jenks added. "NumbersUSA commends Representative Herrell for introducing it and calls on all Members of Congress to support it."

"Since March, most people caught entering the U.S. illegally have been quickly expelled under a Trump administration policy that invoked CDC emergency powers due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said RJ Hauman, head of government relations at FAIR. "Under the Title 42 order, officials have expelled 393,807 illegal aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border. As Rep. Herrell recognizes, it is absolutely essential that this protection remains in place — not only for the good of her border district, but the nation as a whole."

Full text of the discharge rule is available at the link here, and full text of the PAUSE Act is available here.