FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2022
Decision Week for Biden Admin on Title 42 Policy:
Advocates Urge President to End Title 42 for all Asylum Seekers
A recording of the call can be found here
Washington – By April 1, the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will announce whether or not the controversial Title 42 policy of excluding asylum seekers from asking for asylum because of COVID19 will be extended for another 60 days. The Biden administration is under tremendous pressure from fellow Democrats as well as advocates for immigrants and refugees to eliminate Title 42 exclusions and end Title 42 expulsions. As advocates are counting down to decision day, the administration recently announced that they would exempt Ukrainian asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors from Title 42 exclusions. But what about other migrants seeking safety?
In a press call today, hosted by the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign, leaders from Humans Rights First, Haitian Bridge Alliance, American Immigration Lawyers Association and Immigration Equality encouraged President Biden to end Title 42 for all asylum seekers.
Eleanor Acer, Senior Director, Refugee Protection, Human Rights First said, “The Title 42 policy must end for all people seeking refugee protection, whether they are adults or families. The policy violates refugee law, undermines public health, bolsters racist tropes, and sets a discriminatory and entirely counterproductive example for the rest of the world. Every day that this policy remains in place, the Biden administration is turning away people seeking refuge to suffer horrific and systematic human rights violations.”
Guerline Jozef, Co-founder and Executive Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance said, “Title 42 harms those most vulnerable at the border, with deadly consequences. Many of the lives lost at the border and after deportation are a direct result of President Biden’s decisions to continue Title 42, to hold asylum seekers, and to deport them to perhaps certain death. Today, over 21,000 Black immigrants and asylum seekers have been deported under Title 42. We have reports of people dying after being returned to Haiti as the country faces natural disasters and the effects of climate change. I stand in collaboration with my colleagues and the experts that say that Title 42 does not merit existence in 2022, and we call on the Biden administration and the CDC to repeal Title 42.”
Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director, Immigration Equality said, “Due to the Biden administration’s use of Title 42, hundreds of LGBTQ refugees are being illegally expelled from the United States and denied their day in court. The program must end entirely as a gradual phase out will only prolong that injustice.”
Allen Orr, Jr., Immigration Attorney and President, American Immigration Lawyers Assoc. (AILA) said, “We don’t just need to end Title 42, we need to make sure it can never be used again. It has been focused at specific nationalities, and used as a tool for border control, not public health. Certain groups have received exceptions, proving the enforcement is arbitrary. These rules can not exist in a country where people of all nationalities should receive equal treatment. Poor black and brown immigrants are being excluded from the opportunity to migrate to this country.”
The Welcome with Dignity Campaign is composed of more than 95 national and regional organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: welcomewithdignity.org