'Here & Now' Highlights: US Rep. Tom Tiffany, US Rep. Mark Pocan, Ginny Dankmeyer

Here's what guests on the April 22, 2022 episode had to say about a Trump administration immigration policy closing the U.S. border with Mexico to asylum seekers that's set to expire and how local election clerks are scrambling after the redistricting ruling.

By Frederica Freyberg | Here & Now

April 25, 2022

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Two adjacent screenshots show Tom Tiffany and Mark Pocan seated in different locations.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

Former President Donald Trump enacted an immigration policy in March 2020 named Title 42, requiring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to effectively close the U.S. border with Mexico to incoming migrants because of COVID-19. The Biden administration is expected to lift the policy in May. Like other Republicans, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, who represents Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, is sounding the alarm over a possible increase in migrants at the border. Democrats like U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District, calls that election-year campaigning and the policy itself a “fake issue by the Trump administration about COVID-19.” Following the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling adopting the Republican legislative redistricting maps, election clerks across the state are busy updating ballots and educating voters about their new voting boundaries.


U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany
(R) Minocqua

  • Tiffany traveled to the U.S. border with Mexico to see the situation in Yuma, Arizona. He said under the Trump administration there was progress in controlling the number of people coming into the country illegally. Tiffany said it’s his belief that in places like Yuma, it’s now out of control.
  • Tiffany: “We’re seeing gateways that exceed in the hundreds of thousands besides the two million people that came in illegally in 2021. And if Title 42 goes away, it is going to be a tidal wave, because there are thousands of migrants that are just waiting on the other side of the border and the cartels in Mexico are ready to deliver them to the United States.”


U.S. Representative Mark Pocan
(D) Town of Vermont

  • Pocan said most of what happened with the Title 42 immigration policy in 2020 wasn’t done for health concerns, saying former President Donald Trump mishandled the pandemic. He lambasted politicking over an issue that he said is not of interest in the 2nd Congressional District.
  • Pocan: “It is just another way to stop people who might be legitimate coming to this country to seek asylum. And there’s a process that we’re supposed to follow, and this allowed you not to have that process. So that’s the real problem with it. I know the Republicans politically love to talk about this as one of their top three hits that they’re putting out for the campaign. But I can tell you, people in the district don’t reach out to us about the southern border as much as they do making sure they get their mail delivered, for example.”


Ginny Dankmeyer
La Crosse County Clerk

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that approved Republican-drawn legislative redistricting maps came right up against a de facto April 15 deadline for the decision. The rollercoaster of redistricting rulings – going all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and back down again to the state high court – has local election clerks across the state working to update ballots, voters and candidates.
  • Dankmeyer: “It’s been a fun ride – all we can do is tighten our seatbelts. You know, we don’t have a lot to say and we just have to sit back and wait till the decisions are made. Once the decisions are made, then we have to move forward and get done what we have to get done. It’s nothing new for us. There’s a lot of times there’s new laws that are enacted just days weeks before elections and we just go with it. I think you have to be prepared for that. If you’re a clerk … changes are coming and we’re going to figure out what those changes are and we’re going to move forward. That’s all we can really do about it.”


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