Decision to End Title 42 Was Right; CLINIC Calls for Next Steps That Welcome All
SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Today the Biden administration announced the termination of the Title 42 policy, which was misused for over two years at the U.S southern border to illegally expel approximately 1.7 million people under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Title 42 has been disproportionately harmful to Black migrants, particularly Haitians, and resulted in nearly 10,000 documented instances of torture, kidnapping, sexual assault and murder.
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, has long called on the administration to end Title 42, joining public health experts, human rights and immigrant rights groups, faith leaders, members of congress and countless other advocates. Ending Title 42 is a crucial first step towards rebuilding an equitable and welcoming asylum system that protects the safety and dignity of all migrants.
While today’s decision is important and right, CLINIC recognizes that without proactive measures, the United States’ long legacy of racism and exclusion in immigration policymaking will continue to plague the process with which asylum seekers are received. As a nation with full capacity and resources to ensure a fair and humane asylum system, CLINIC calls on the Biden administration to provide a comprehensive and clear plan to build a fair, humane, dignifying and anti-racist asylum system.
“We know that our nation is at its best when we welcome refugees and asylum seekers with open arms,” said Anna Gallagher, Executive Director of CLINIC. “We see this reflected in the quick steps the Biden administration has taken to respond to the refugee and humanitarian crises caused by war in Ukraine. As the administration takes this long-awaited first step towards removing barriers to asylum, we urge the administration to make a full and unequivocal commitment to rebuild an asylum system that welcomes all people with dignity. Heeding the callings of their faith, CLINIC’s affiliates and partners at the border are ready and eager to work with the administration to welcome families, children and adults to safety immediately.”
“Today’s decision was the result of steadfast advocacy by Black and brown immigrant leaders calling for a just and humane asylum system that upholds U.S. and international law and basic morality for everyone,” said Lisa Parisio, CLINIC’s Director of Advocacy. “We will not forget the lives lost and those harmed by this illegal and racist policy. Now, we call on the Biden administration to work quickly to ensure proper implementation of this decision and to go further and build an asylum system that welcomes all who are fleeing for their lives with dignity. CLINIC will continue to stand by asylum seekers and our partners to hold the Biden administration accountable to its promises and reject the politicization of human life.”