tags: Press Releases

On Two Year Anniversary of Title 42, More Voices Call for End of Inhumane Policy

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Washington, DC – Yesterday was the two year anniversary of the Title 42 program, a Stephen Miller policy that used the pretext of COVID and public health concerns to block asylum cases from U.S. courts and quickly expel migrants. The anniversary comes as leading Democrats, health policy experts, human rights advocates and migrant-serving organizations are increasingly calling on the Biden administration to end the Title 42 program, highlighting that there is not – and never has been – a public health rationale behind Title 42 and that keeping the policy intact violates U.S. law and President Biden’s promises. Among the voices calling for change:

  • Leading Democrats continue to call for end of Title 42: From a joint statement from Senators Menendez, Schumer, Padilla, and Booker calling on the Biden administration “to stop breathing new life into this inhumane Trump policy” to Representatives Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) citing the use of Title 42 in mass-expulsions of Haitians, Democrats from across the country have been calling for the end of the program.
  • Physicians for Human Rights: Title 42 both “intellectually bankrupt” and “morally reprehensible”: A statement from Michele Heisler, MD, MPA, medical director at Physicians for Human Rights and professor of internal medicine and public health at the University of Michigan, noted, “The Title 42 expulsion order was never based on sound science, even during the early months of the pandemic. However, with vaccines and other effective public health strategies now widely available, the faulty rationale for keeping the Title 42 order in place is more than intellectually bankrupt, it is morally reprehensible.”
  • Houston Chronicle op-ed: “Biden must stop using ‘public health’ excuse to immediately expel migrants: A Chronicle op-ed from Medha D. Makhlouf, assistant professor of law and director of the Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic at Penn State Dickinson Law, and Sarah Battistich, associate professor of emergency medicine in New York City, notes: “Continuing this policy in the name of public health when it is not supported by science and clearly motivated by politically opportunistic immigration policy only creates more skepticism and mistrust of both public health authorities and government actions. The Title 42 order is a stain on the Biden administration’s promise to revitalize the nation’s commitment to advancing human rights.”

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

There is not a sound policy or public health reason to keep Title 42 on the books, and continuing to pretend there is only undermines the Biden administration’s credibility on fighting COVID-19. The Biden administration’s choice to keep blanket Title 42 exclusions operational is driven by political optics and fear of the right wing attacks and campaign messages accusing Biden – falsely – of supporting ‘an open borders policy.’ 

But Democrats and the Biden administration need to stop addressing immigration and border issues from this defensive crouch. Instead, they need to live up to their pledge to erase the shameful legacy of Stephen Miller and Donald Trump and address migration and asylum issues head on by living up to their commitments, drawing sharp contrasts with the cruelty and chaos of the Trump administration, and standing up for a different vision of America – one where we don’t expel families, children and individuals in violation of our own laws to dangerous situations because we’re afraid of what Fox News will say.