For Immediate Release
March 14, 2022
Contact: Sarai Herrera
Los Angeles, CA – Friday evening, March 11, 2022 the Biden Administration announced through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the end of Title 42 implementation for unaccompanied children. Title 42 expels migrants entering through the US-Mexico border to either Mexico or their country of birth in the name of public health. In their determination, the CDC stated that the expulsion of unaccompanied migrant children was not necessary after considering current public health conditions regarding COVID-19. The policy remains in place for adults and families, including children traveling in family groups. ImmDef commends the Administration’s choice to give unaccompanied migrant children the right to safety. We urge the CDC and the Biden Administration to end Title 42 for all migrants entering the Southern border, expulsion of any migrant, no matter their age, is not warranted to protect the public health.
"The Biden Administration’s decision to fully exempt unaccompanied children from Title 42 is welcome news, and will undoubtedly save the lives of many children," says Marion ("Mickey") Donovan-Kaloust, Directing Attorney. "In so doing, they have conceded that vulnerable migrants can be processed safely and in a way that controls the spread of COVID-19. The exemption of unaccompanied children from Title 42 must be just the first step in ending Title 42 completely for all."
“Considering ongoing litigation regarding the CDC’s decision to exempt unaccompanied minors from Title 42, this updated order is only a temporary solution. We are likely to continue to see conflicting decisions from federal courts that may again result in an order to apply Title 42 universally. The implementation of Title 42 has always been more about expelling asylum seekers than protecting public health, says - Yliana Johansen-Méndez, Director of Legal Services. “Nevertheless, we are undeniably in a vastly different position now than we were when Title 42 was first implemented. The reality is that many of the migrants who have been waiting to enter at our Southern Border have already been vaccinated, and the U.S. government has the means and ability to implement widespread testing. Moreover, the widespread availability of vaccines has allowed businesses across the country to re-open to the public, several U.S. schools to lift masking requirements, and many jurisdictions have eliminated their masking and social distancing requirements altogether. To continue to expel migrants in violation of our obligations under international refugee laws, and of our own immigration laws, under the guise of protecting public health is an affront to human decency and a horrific disregard for human life.“
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Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against injustices in the legal system. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face an unjust immigration court alone. Our programs are a first step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. ImmDef is now the largest non‐profit, pro bono provider of deportation defense in California with offices in Los Angeles, Adelanto, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Diego.