FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2022
“Title 42 is shameful” Advocates Demand Biden Restore Asylum Now
Listen to a recording of the call here
Washington – Earlier today, representatives from the ACLU, American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Immigration Law Clinic, and Center for Gender and Refugee Studies joined the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign calling on President Biden to end the use of Title 42. Following the CDC’s termination of the policy for unaccompanied children, the chorus calling for an end to the illegal policy has only grown louder. Speakers on the call demanded the policy end for everyone. While the Biden administration has pledged to welcome Ukrainian refugees “with open arms,” in recent days Ukrainians seeking safety have been turned away at the southern border, with border agents citing Title 42.
Epidemiologists and public health experts have repeatedly called on the Biden administration to revoke the Title 42 order, stating that we can both protect public health and the lives of people seeking refuge by relying on the kinds of public health measures we all now use.
“Under the cruel and inhumane Title 42 expulsion policy, the Biden administration has denied hundreds of thousands of people their fundamental legal right to seek asylum and returned them to dangerous conditions where they face kidnapping, torture, and persecution,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “Ahead of the second anniversary of this deadly policy’s implementation, we urge the Biden administration to choose a more humane path, end Title 42 expulsions for everyone, and instead move swiftly to implement a system that honors our legal and moral obligation to welcome people seeking safety. It’s past time for President Biden to fulfill his promise of building a 21st-century immigration system that recognizes the dignity in us all.”
“The Title 42 program is illegal, immoral, and totally unjustified by public health considerations. It is long past time for the Biden administration to end it,” said staff attorney for the ACLU Cody Wofsy.
“The plight of Ukrainians ensnared in Title 42 has drawn attention to the policy’s cruelty and utter lack of public health rationale,” said Blaine Bookey, Legal Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). “We are glad to hear the Biden administration may now allow some Ukrainians to seek asylum, as is their legal right. But the administration must end the racist Title 42 policy for all. Anyone who can’t safely return to their home country should be afforded the opportunity to seek protection, no matter where they come from, and whether reporters are watching or not.”
“Using Title 42 to block entry at the southern border is shameful, the United States can and must protect public health while honoring our humanitarian values and policies that offer protection to asylum seekers,” said Allen Orr, President of AILA
A recording of the call is available here.
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