Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds responds to expiration of Title 42

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds issued a statement on the expiration of Title 42 Thursday, a three-year-old asylum restriction which allowed U.S. border officials to quickly return asylum seekers back over the border on grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Reynolds statement reads below:

“The Biden Administration has blatantly ignored the border crisis for more than two years, and now, they’re eliminating our most effective tool to slow this invasion of our country. Allowing it to end without another solution in place is not humane; it is a dereliction of duty. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of fentanyl are entering our country, cartels are trafficking women and children, our border agents are overwhelmed, and thousands of migrants are setting up camp in towns along the border. Joe Biden owns this national security disaster, and he needs to fix it. It starts with securing our border and addressing our broken immigration policies. The American people deserve nothing less.”

Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds

The U.S. entered a new immigration enforcement era Friday, ending the three-year-old asylum restriction and enacting a set of strict new rules that the Biden administration hopes will stabilize the U.S.-Mexico border and stop migrants from crossing illegally and encourage them instead to apply for asylum online through a new process.

RELATED: Migrants race to US border as Title 42 pandemic restrictions expire, straining US immigration system

While Title 42 prevented many from seeking asylum, it carried no legal consequences, encouraging repeat attempts. Now, migrants face being barred from entering the U.S. for five years and possible criminal prosecution.

The Biden administration has said the new policies are meant both to crack down on illegal crossings and to offer a new legal pathway for migrants who spend thousands on smuggling operations to get them to the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants are now essentially barred from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they first didn’t seek protection in the countries they traveled through or applied online. Families allowed in as their immigration cases progress will face curfews and GPS monitoring.

But, President Biden is facing withering criticism from migrant advocates who say he’s abandoning more humanitarian methods and Republicans who claim he’s soft on border security.