You are here

HIAS Applauds Impending End of Title 42

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Title 42 is coming to an end. Title 42 is the law that the current and prior administrations used to largely close America’s borders to asylum seekers and has been responsible for more than one million expulsions at the U.S.-Mexico border over the last 18 months alone. From the very first day of Title 42’s implementation, public health experts have said that this policy was not a useful tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the stated intent of the policy.

“The stated rationale of Title 42 was safety, but nobody really thought keeping some people out of the U.S. at the border while admitting others would stop a virus,” said Naomi Steinberg, HIAS’ vice president for U.S. policy and advocacy. “This policy made thousands of people less safe. This was a policy that did not help to stop COVID-19, but did result in an estimated 10,000 kidnappings, and thousands of cases of torture, rape, and other violent attacks against people seeking asylum. Title 42 violated U.S. and international law, as well as basic principles of compassion and human decency.”

HIAS is disappointed the actual end of Title 42 at the border will not take place until May 23. Until then, according to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’ statement today, his department “will continue to expel single adults and families encountered at the Southwest border.”

Steinberg added: “Even after Title 42 is relegated to the history books, our work is not over. 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.”

###