(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Sunday that Congress can pass emergency legislation extending Title 42, the Trump-era health code that allows for the expulsion of migrants during health emergencies that is set to expire on Wednesday.
“We could pass a piece of legislation, emergency piece of legislation, if we could all come to an agreement that basically Title 42 has to be, by law, extended and have the president sign it immediately. I guess that could be done,” Manchin told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The senator began his interview by calling what’s happening at the border “a crisis.”
“We have a crisis at the border. Everyone can see that. I think everyone realizes that something has to be done. It — 42 needs to be extended until we can get, really, truly immigration reform.
Immigration reform will not happen in our country until we all come, both sides of the aisle, Democrats, Republicans, and the administration, that you have to have total border security. Security is the name of the game,” he said.
“But the courts ordered for 42 to be struck down,” host Margaret Brennan pointed out.
MANCHIN: I understand that. The president needs to use every bit of power he has as an executive to find a way or ask for an extension. The president can basically, I think, ask for that extension. I think his administration is doing that or will do that. I sure hope they do, but we need an extension until we can get a viable answer for this.
Right now, this is unattainable. This is wrong. You can’t do this to the Southern border. John Cornyn, my friend, senator from Texas, they’re on the front lines. They’re the largest border we have, a state that borders Mexico, and it just — it’s unattainable.
BRENNAN: But what can Congress deliver in terms of emergency funding? Because, as we understand it, unless a Supreme Court steps in, Title 42 is going away.
MANCHIN: Yes. Well, again, the executive order. We could pass a piece of legislation, emergency piece of legislation, if we could all come to an agreement that basically Title 42 has to be, by law, extended and have the president sign it immediately. I guess that could be done.
We’re going back in Monday, and I — it’s just — it’s a crisis. When you have a crisis. it seems like we can manage under a crisis in a bipartisan way. It’s a shame that we’ve come to this gridlock.
BRENNAN: You said recently that you have a worker shortage in West Virginia right now. How do you get to bipartisan legislation on legal migration, when you are about to face a Republican-controlled House that’s vowed to impeach the homeland security secretary?
MANCHIN: Yes. Well, first of all, that’s — it’s an unfair charge against Ali Mayorkas.
I think the gentleman is — is very competent. He can do a good job. They just need to unleash him. Let him do his job. That’s what I have said before, and I will say it again now.
With that, we have got to do, basically, immigration reform. My state of West Virginia needs more workers, We need people that want to come here for the right reason to provide for their family a better quality of life. My grandparents — great-grandparents brought my grandparents here in 1900 on both sides of the aisle from Italy and Czechoslovakia for that opportunity.
I’m — I’m a product of that, and we have so many people that want to come to our country. There has to be a legal pathway forward. That’s all we’ve been talking about. The 2013 piece of legislation that we worked on and passed in a bipartisan way in the Senate never got a vote in the House.
Use that as the building block. That was a piece of legislation that was responsible and reasonable, and it basically all centered around border security, but it gave a legal pathway forward to come into this country, work your way to legal citizenship. That’s what we need.
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