For Immediate Release
April 1, 2022
Contact: Sarai Herrera
Los Angeles, CA – Finally the Biden Administration has made the long overdue announcement that they are ending the cruel, inhumane and illegal Title 42 policy. Today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), terminated the policy, effective May 23, 2022, that has forcibly expelled more than 1.7 asylum seekers and migrants from the United States with no due process. While the policy was initially introduced as a COVID-19 mitigation measure, the implementation and duration of its impact on asylum seekers made it clear that it was an immigration enforcement policy masquerading as a public health measure.
While we are pleased to receive this announcement today, we also recognize that this delayed implementation means that asylum seekers, including vulnerable families and children, Black migrants, LGBTQI persons, will continue to suffer until they can finally seek protection in late May. The Biden administration is reopening an asylum system that has been decimated over the past few years. We demand that the Biden administration take this moment to reimagine our asylum system to ensure that it safely and fairly protects the most vulnerable, ends the rampant discrimination against Black migrants and begins to hold law enforcement agencies accountable for respecting the human rights of migrants. A just asylum system is one that allows for access to counsel, ends rocket dockets like the dedicated docket for asylum seeking families and ensures that asylum seekers can safely live in the United States while their asylum claims are adjudicated.
“This announcement comes after tremendous advocacy from those of us who have witnessed firsthand the horror of what happens when the US government abandons their legal and moral obligation to welcome asylum seekers with dignity. For two years we have had to tell asylum seekers that there is no process, there is no system and there is no way for you to seek protection for yourselves or your family,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director. “Today, we celebrate the beginning of this new chapter where we hope the Biden administration will finally make good on their promise to restore humanity at our border. And we will be here standing in solidarity with those who have been locked out of our asylum system for far too long, ready to hold the Administration accountable to their promises and to ensure the human and legal rights of asylum seekers are protected. It is time for the Biden administration to get this right because lives literally hang in the balance. ” “This long-awaited change in U.S. immigration policy is the beginning of justice for asylum seekers who have been shunned by the U.S. government unfairly for far too long,” said Margaret Cargioli, Directing Attorney. “While we wait for the implementation of this change to take place humanitarian parole applications for vulnerable asylum seekers must be processed. Additionally, it is incredibly important that the Biden administration distribute clear information to legal service and humanitarian organizations who are serving migrants on-the-ground to combat misinformation and inform people of how they can finally safely access our asylum system come May 23rd.”
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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.