TITLE 42: THREE YEARS OF DENYING ACCESS TO ASYLUM AND HARMING REFUGEES
Updated: Mar 29
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2023
Contact: Margaret Cargioli (MCargioli@immdef.org) or (213) 833-8283
LOS ANGELES – Since March 2020, Title 42 has been used as a merciless deterrence policy to turn away and expel millions of asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border. Title 42 was
implemented by the Trump administration under the pretense of protecting public health. In
December 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42. Since then, the Biden administration has expanded the use of Title 42, exposing more individuals and families to danger in their country of origin or Mexico.
Since its implementation, public health experts have made clear that the policy does not prevent the spread of COVID-19 and does not serve a public health interest. On May 11, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 Public Health Order is set to expire. The Biden administration must return to abiding by asylum law and welcoming with dignity those people fleeing persecution.
“For three years, Title 42 has caused immeasurable pain and suffering. Too often, our border policy is reduced to numbers – how many people are apprehended at the border, how many asylum seekers are turned away. But lest we forget, these numbers represent real human beings,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center. “They are individuals and families—including children—that we have forced back to danger in their countries of origin or as they wait in Mexico for the fundamental right to apply for asylum. Expelling people to places where they risk being killed is not only unlawful, it goes against everything we should stand for as a nation. On the anniversary of Title 42’s implementation, may we not lose sight of all those people fleeing persecution. The ones we could have helped. And the ones we still can."
As stated by Margaret Cargioli, Directing Attorney of Policy and Advocacy at Immigrant
Defenders Law Center, “Advocates have witnessed the harm Title 42 has caused individuals
and families for the past three years-a disabled child turned back to danger in his country of
origin when the Trump administration was expelling unaccompanied children under Title 42, a woman fleeing cartel violence turned away at a U.S. port of entry with her ill child, a father and his autistic child denied access to the U.S., a pregnant Haitian woman unable to access asylum in the U.S. suffering a miscarriage due to denial of medical care in Mexico, and countless other misfortunes. Tragedy after tragedy has played out, each a consequence of a policy whose objective is to shut down a system meant to promote protection for the world’s most vulnerable. Humanitarian problems need humanitarian solutions. Turning people away and back to danger is the antithesis of a humanitarian solution.”
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