As the days creep closer to the end of the Title 42 border policy on May 23, increasing numbers of Democrats are sounding the alarm. The calls echo the same theme: The Biden administration needs border security in place before it takes down this measure. The calls have grown so loud — and for good reason: 18,000 illegal migrants could cross the border per day once Title 42 ends — that the administration is allegedly hoping it loses a pending lawsuit on the matter and is forced to extend the policy.

In other words, the same Democrats who’ve purposefully torn down every long-lasting border-security measure imaginable are now arguing that an obscure, temporary Covid-mitigation measure should protect our border indefinitely.

To explain just how dishonest this stance is, let’s back up and remind ourselves what Title 42 — which, full disclosure, I helped create — actually is.

Our federal laws, called the United States Code, are broken into “titles.” Title 20 covers education. Title 8 covers immigration. And Title 42 covers public health, including the Social Security Act and Obamacare. In the early days of the Covid pandemic, testing was slow, vaccines didn’t exist, and social distancing was the only measure we had to prevent the spread of the virus. But because social distancing is impossible in crowded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, judges ordered that detained border-crossers be released. And since allowing the virus to spread unchecked over the border was simply not an option, the Trump administration used its authority under Title 42 to prevent illegal immigrants. (The administration also temporarily barred entry to most legal border-crossers using powers granted by a separate statute.)

Given the unique challenges created by our nearly 2,000-mile land border with Mexico, reasonable people should agree that our border-security measures must be strong regardless of whether we’re struggling with a global pandemic. So when border hawks bemoan the end of Title 42, I get it. They’ve fought tooth and nail to keep appropriate immigration restrictions in place, and the Biden administration has consistently fought back every step of the way. Now, border communities are about to be flooded with 18,000 illegal border-crossers per day — far more than Border Patrol agents could conceivably vet. From a restrictionist perspective, this is a disaster.

But like all other Covid-mitigation measures, the Title 42 policy was always meant to end at some point. And when Democrats ask to keep the policy in place, our BS meter should start to twitch.

Democrats knew this policy was going to end sometime, and yet they cheered as Biden tore down every other immigration restriction he could. They cheered when border-wall construction stopped. They cheered when Biden ended the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required certain migrants to wait in Mexico while their cases proceeded through immigration courts. And they cheered as ICE closed detention facilities, making immigration arrests and removals impossible. The Left loves that ICE is no longer removing illegal migrants whom judges have ordered removed from the country, that ICE lawyers are dismissing hundreds of thousands of illegal-immigration lawsuits, and that DHS has drastically lowered the bar for asylum.

That they are now belatedly flying a “We Love Title 42” flag suggests that they think voters are stupid. Title 42 will eventually go away; there’s no avoiding it. Democrats know this. They want “border security” — that is, until one day after the midterms.

We conservatives cannot fall for this. Anyone who really cares about border security should care about more than just Title 42. We must demand that our elected officials focus on lasting fixes, such as increasing ICE detention and ending asylum abuse. Anything less is unacceptable for a nation that deserves the strongest immigration laws possible.