Human Rights First Celebrates Block of Title 42 Ban

WASHINGTON – With a federal district court judge ruling that Title 42 – a Trump-era policy used by the Biden administration to block and expel people seeking asylum under the pretext of public health – is in violation of U.S. law, Human Rights First commended the decision.

“The Title 42 policy is a human rights disaster and a public health travesty. It expels asylum seekers to danger and subjects people seeking protection in the United States to horrific harms,” said Eleanor Acer, senior director of refugee protection at Human Rights First. “The Biden administration should let this flawed policy die and restore regular asylum processing immediately at U.S. ports of entry and along the southwest border.”

District Judge Emmet Sullivan found the Title 42 order to be “arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.”

In its decision, the court cited Human Rights First’s report, The Nightmare Continues: Title 42 Court Order Prolongs Human Rights Abuses, Extends Disorder at U.S. Borders: “[I]n Mexico alone, recorded incidents” of “kidnapping, rapes, and other violence against noncitizens subject to Title 42” have “spiked from 3,250 cases in June 2021 to over 10,318 in June 2022.”

In addition to the report cited in the judge’s order, Human Rights First has issued a series of reports documenting the grave harms inflicted by the Title 42 policy, the way it forces asylum seekers to attempt dangerous border crossings, spurs repeat crossings by migrants, and causes dysfunction and chaos at the border.

Human Rights First partnered with public health experts who repeatedly explained that the Centers for Disease Control order imposing this policy – widely recognized as the product of pressure by the Trump White House – was not justified by public health for many of the reasons addressed in the court’s decision.

The Biden administration recently expanded the Title 42 policy to expel Venezuelans seeking safety in the United States, subjecting more asylum seekers and migrants to danger – triggering swift condemnation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration. The court’s ruling should make clear that the Biden administration must end its embrace of this illegal Trump administration policy.


Published on November 15, 2022


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