HIAS Disappointed by Title 42 Ruling

SILVER SPRING, Md. – HIAS is disappointed that U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays in Louisiana has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the federal government from ending Title 42 today. The Trump administration invoked the World War II-era emergency public health law that allows Customs and Border Protection to block people from seeking safety in the U.S. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have used Title 42 to essentially close the border to asylum seekers, and there have been more than 1.9 million expulsions since March, 2020.

“Public health experts have said since the very start of the implementation of Title 42 that there is no public health rationale for preventing people from seeking asylum,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs. “Asylum seekers can be processed safely. This policy has put many people, including children, in grave danger. They are at risk when in desperation they try to cross into the U.S. because the ports of entry are closed to them, and when they wait in Mexico, many are targets of violence and crime. Title 42 has been a boon for smuggling and kidnapping operations dominated by drug cartels.”

“We recognize the challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border are significant and not easy to address. But keeping Title 42 in place, as the world opens up again and people are moving about freely, is not the answer,” Nezer continued.

While the courts consider this case, HIAS urges the administration not to expand or create new policies that would continue to inhibit the legal right to seek asylum. HIAS does not want to see the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — also known as the Remain in Mexico program — expand to take the place of Title 42. In addition, Congress must not codify Title 42. We urge members of both parties to leave this to the courts.

“This is about the safety of thousands of human beings who are coming to our border because they cannot live in safety and peace where they are. We must continue to advocate for fair and humane asylum policies, as well as sufficient staffing, resources, and coordination with organizations working with asylum seekers on both sides of the border, that ensure due process and the equitable treatment of all people seeking protection,” Nezer said.


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