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The White House is sticking firm in its decision to cease a Trump-era deportation programme for migrants caught at the southern border on May 23 despite rising opposition from within the Democratic Party.

President Joe Biden is in a political bind as a result of his decision to stop the use of the public health decree known as Title 42. The president is striving to strike a compromise between his long-standing pledge to end the programme and his campaign promises.

which justified the immediate expulsion of migrants without due process under the guise of combating the Covid pandemic — just as Republicans weaponize immigration ahead of the midterm elections, and a growing number of Democratic senators want restrictions to remain in place for fear that the administration is unprepared for a summer surge of migrants to the border.

"It's not like we've been hiding the ball on this," a White House official said on the condition of anonymity regarding the current situation. "This is not a policy to praise or defend in any way." It's basically a public health guideline that determines whether or not processing migrants poses a public health danger. The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] determined that there wasn't, and that we may proceed with removing the ban on May 23."

Immigrant groups, politicians, and former administration officials told POLITICO that the White House should stick to its guns and better convey its approach to Congress and other border stakeholders. Several people asked Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to visit the border before of the policy change on May 23 to illustrate the government's coordinated reaction.

According to Kerri Talbot, deputy director of the advocacy organisation Immigration Hub, the White House "certainly will not change its decision on Title 42." "Instead, we would strongly advise them to make their border plan more transparent." There's a huge communication problem here, since they have comprehensive plans but haven't really set them out for Congress."

There were internal White House disagreements on whether the Title 42 power should be terminated. And, in recent days, news from Axios that the administration was considering delaying the May 23 deadline and that officials were concerned about being overwhelmed by a surge of migrants at the border raised doubts about whether it might change course.

If lawmakers are willing, the White House has proposed that they adopt legislation to amend the CDC's jurisdiction over the public health order themselves. However, a judicial order might solve Biden's Catch-22, at least temporarily. A group of Republican-led states sued the administration earlier this month to prevent the termination of Title 42, and a hearing is scheduled for the end of May.

"The little secret here is that they don't believe they'll have to eliminate Title 42," one immigration advocate familiar with White House thinking said. "They're anticipating to lose a lawsuit that will compel them to retain it in place," says the source.