U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is joining U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.) and her colleagues in opposing any plans by the Biden administration to use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees to address the crisis at the Southern border after Title 42 is lifted.
In a letter to President Biden, Ernst and her colleagues write, “We write to express strong disapproval of any contingency plan which uses personnel from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to deal with the inevitable escalation of the border crisis once your Administration unwisely rescinds its Title 42 Order. The VA is currently experiencing major staffing shortages and high workforce turnover rates. The deployment of VA personnel in a ‘Fourth Mission’ capacity will impact veterans’ ability to receive timely care from the VA and should not be a consideration while developing your Administration’s plan as a result of the failure to implement and maintain commonsense border security policies.”
They continue, “As you know, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported over 1.6 million border encounters in the Fiscal Year 2021, which is the highest annual total on record. The Title 42 Order has been used over one million times and has been essential for CBP to deny entry to illegal immigrants. Reports indicate that your Administration is aware of the inevitable surge of illegal immigrants once this authority ends…There is bipartisan support in the Senate requesting a detailed plan be made available before revoking this authority. These plans should absolutely not include using the VA’s ‘Fourth Mission.’”