Joint Press Release: 164 Catholic Organizations Call on President Biden to End Title 42 on Vatican World Day for Migrants and Refugees

WASHINGTON — 164 Catholic organizations joined together to send a letter to President Biden ahead of the World Day for Migrants and Refugees demanding he end the misuse of Title 42. Title 42, first invoked by the Trump administration and affirmatively continued by the Biden administration, has been used to expel an unknown number of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, putting them in harm's way and denying them the opportunity to seek life-saving protection.

After a federal district court ordered the Biden administration to stop using Title 42 to expel migrant families with children on Sept. 16, giving the administration two weeks to comply, the Biden administration doubled down on its support for this unjust policy by immediately appealing the decision. President Biden can and must take action to stop the misuse of the policy once and for all.

The letter calls on the President to listen to and act on Pope Francis’ message to the world for this Sunday’s 107th World Day for Migrants and Refugees, to make, “no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests, since it is a matter of a treasure we hold in common, from whose care and benefits no one should be excluded.”

The letter was co-lead by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC, and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. Notable signatories include: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, National Black Sisters' Conference, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Pax Christi USA, Kino Border Initiative, Hope Border Institute, the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, Catholic Charities Atlanta, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, and many more. See the letter and full list of 164 signers here

Anna Gallagher, Executive Director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., or CLINIC said:

“The administration’s continued misuse of Title 42 to deny asylum seekers their right to seek asylum completely contradicts his stated mission to restore the soul of America. Politicizing human life will never be the solution to a just and humane immigration system or society. 

President Biden has the opportunity to end this unconscionable practice today — we pray he will find wisdom and the courage to follow the Holy Father’s teaching in Fratelli Tutti that ‘if the world truly belongs to everyone, then it matters little whether my neighbor was born in my country or elsewhere. My own country also shares responsibility for his or her development.’”

Mary J. Novak, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said:

“As Catholics, we are called to uphold the dignity of each person as an equally valuable member of human society. The Biden administration’s continued misuse of Title 42 is not only a violation of international human rights laws, but also a violation of the human dignity of immigrants and asylum seekers. We cannot allow the continuation of this xenophobic order, which puts asylum seekers in harm’s way. We call President Biden to honor the call to love our neighbor and end the misuse of Title 42 completely.”