FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2022
#WelcomeWithDignity Applauds End of Title 42
The administration’s move is a welcome first step, but they must not expel people fleeing danger in the interim
Washington – Today the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign applauded the CDC’s announcement today that it will terminate Title 42 by May 23rd. While the experts on the call welcomed the news, they expressed concern that the administration will continue plans to expel people fleeing persecution until then. As Guerline Jozef of the Haitian Bridge Alliance said, “protection delayed is protection denied.” The campaign echoed local border groups and service providers who call on the administration to collaborate with them to make sure the end of the policy is humane and orderly.
Seeking asylum is a legal form of entry under U.S. law and a fundamental human right. #WelcomeWithDignity’s recommendations to restore asylum are available here.
“President Biden made the morally and legally right – and politically popular – decision to end Title 42, a cruel and harmful vestige of the Trump era” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund. “We commend the Biden administration for moving to repeal this deadly and xenophobic policy. It is a significant step forward, even if it is long overdue.”
“We welcome and we applaud the news that the Biden-Harris administration is finally listening to the calls of advocates to terminate Title 42”, said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and Executive Director of Haitian Bridge Alliance. “This has been a long fight to restore access to protection for some of the most vulnerable people. Haitian Bridge Alliance has been advocating for an end to this Trump-era policy since April 2020 as a response to the increased expulsions of Haitian asylum seekers. As the Department of Homeland Security prepares to welcome our asylum seekers and refugees at the Southwest border with dignity on May 23, until then, we urge the administration to rethink their decision to continue to expel individuals back to unsafe conditions, especially to Haiti, without first determining standing for an asylum claim. In just a little over a year under this administration, over 21,000 people, including pregnant women and children have been sent to Haiti, most being expulsions. To welcome with dignity means that Title 42 ends for all, including for families and single adults of all nationalities, immediately.”
“There is no reason why the Biden administration cannot immediately restart asylum processing at ports of entry as we have seen them do for countless Ukrainians since mid-March,” said Melissa Crow, Director of Litigation at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) and co-counsel in Huisha-Huisha, challenging Title 42 expulsions of families, and Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas, which successfully challenged the government’s policy of turning back asylum seekers at the southern border. “The administration has had 14 months to prepare and marshal the resources necessary. Moreover, our Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas litigation has revealed that the government has far greater capacity to welcome asylum seekers than they acknowledge. The administration should resume processing without delay, and in close coordination with humanitarian organizations assisting asylum seekers at the ground.”
“The Women’s Refugee Commission commends the Biden administration for finally committing to lift this unlawful, cruel policy that has turned so many families and adults back to harm,” said Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “We will be watching closely to ensure that the administration follows through on that commitment. Over the next two months, the administration must meaningfully support and diligently coordinate with local humanitarian service providers to ensure that people seeking asylum have the support and welcome they need, and avoid any measures that punish or create additional obstacles to asylum. We urge the Biden administration to immediately cease expulsions to torture or persecution and build an asylum system that is just, orderly, and welcomes those seeking protection with dignity, including at ports of entry.”
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