“It’s not like we’ve been hiding the ball on this,” a White House official said, speaking freely about the state of play on condition of anonymity. “This is not a policy to applaud or defend or anything. It simply is a public health directive on whether there is a public health risk associated with processing migrants or not. The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] made a determination that there wasn’t and that we’re OK to move forward with lifting it on May 23.”

In interviews with POLITICO, immigrant advocates, lawmakers and former administration officials urged the White House to stay the course and to better communicate its plan to lawmakers and necessary stakeholders along the border. Several urged Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to go to the border ahead of the May 23 policy change to demonstrate the coordinated response being prepared by government agencies.

Is anyone really confused about what will happen when the restrictions end? The Biden administration will try to assure everyone that they have the situation in hand. That’s nonsense. No government could plan for the hurricane of humanity that’s about to hit the United States.

Republicans in border states have gone to court to stop the government from lifting Title 42. Is Biden hoping the courts bail him out of his dilemma?

“The little secret here is they don’t think they’re actually going to have to end Title 42,” said an immigration advocate familiar with the White House’s thinking. “They’re expecting to lose a lawsuit that’s going to force them to keep it in place.”

Democrats, sensing an electoral Armageddon, are becoming more open in their insistence that Biden, at the very least, delays the end of Title 42.

“Republicans are winning this messaging war, and they’re making it about open borders,” said a former Biden administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak more freely about the problems the current team is having. “If Democrats would just remind the American public that this is the brainchild of [Trump senior aide and hardline immigration adviser] Stephen Miller, who also separated 5,000 children from their parents, and that the president campaigned on overturning all these cruel policies of the Trump administration, I think the American public would support it.”

According to a Morning Consult poll, 56 percent of Americans oppose the White House’s plan to remove pandemic-era border controls. It’s Biden’s most unpopular policy. The idea that reminding the public that this is a Trump-era policy would change those numbers is exactly why Democrats are in such desperate trouble this November.

Essentially, Biden is telling moderate Democrats that you ain’t runnin’ this railroad and if you don’t like it, you can jump off the train anytime. He has hung them out to dry to placate his radical supporters whose advocacy is going to get a lot of people killed.

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