tags: Press Releases

Does GOP Push to Keep Title 42 in Place Mean They Want To Exclude Asylum Seekers from Cuba and Ukraine?

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Washington, DC – As Republican candidates and elected officials continue their shameless politicization, lies and ugliness around border policy and the decision to lift Title 42 restrictions, their cheap political talking points fall apart under scrutiny.

While Republicans call for keeping Title 42 in place and push on Capitol Hill for ending asylum as we know it, their rabid attacks run headlong into their purported support for exiles from what they view as socialist and communist regimes. Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Ukrainians and Russians are some of the countries of origin of asylum seekers increasingly seeking refuge in the U.S. and showing up at our border to plead their case. 

For example, as the Washington Post explains today, 

“Cuban migrants are coming to the United States in the highest numbers since the 1980 Mariel boatlift, arriving this time across the U.S. southern land border, not by sea … Cubans who cross the border illegally face little risk of being quickly deported or ‘expelled’ under the Title 42 public health law that U.S. authorities used to return thousands of Haitian migrants from a Del Rio camp last September. Cubans fleeing the communist system have long received preferential treatment.”

Similarly, as the El Paso Times reports

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced an exodus of millions of Ukrainians, and hundreds have begun arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking asylum … At the Tijuana-San Diego border, Ukrainians were among a limited number of migrants allowed to seek asylum or protection in the U.S. in recent days.”

According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice,

Republicans need to do some explaining. Do they want to treat asylum seekers from countries such as Cuba and Ukraine differently than those from other countries throughout the world, and, if so, why? Or, if they favor a blanket exclusionary policy as part of their efforts to extend Title 42 indefinitely, do they want to expel Ukrainians to a nation at war and Russians to a nation cracking down on dissidents and protestors? What about Afghan allies? What about Venezuelans and Cubans? Where would the GOP draw the line and is there a criteria other than race or the political ideology of the government doing the oppressing? 

The fact is, America is stronger as a nation when we welcome those fleeing for their lives and we are a better nation when there is equal treatment under the law. Seeking refuge from violence and persecution is a right the U.S. ought to uphold, whether it is those fleeing oppressive dictatorships, LGBTQ migrants fleeing persecution, women fleeing violence, or Black migrants fleeing lawless or failing states. Not all will win asylum, but all should be afforded a chance to request a review of their claims. 

Hypocrisy and political gamesmanship is at the heart of GOP support for keeping Title 42 in place. But whether people are given a chance to apply for refugee status or not can have life and death consequences. What’s your position and why, Republicans?