Human Rights First Condemns House Appropriators’ Inclusion of Asylum Ban in FY ‘23 DHS Appropriations Bill
Washington, DC – Human Rights First is outraged that the House of Representative Committee on Appropriations voted today to include in the Fiscal Year 2023 Department of Homeland Security bill a provision that would indefinitely continue the Title 42 asylum ban. Human Rights First urges the full House of Representatives and the Senate to remove this provision that violates our refugee laws before sending the final bill to President Biden.
“Legislating the Title 42 asylum ban is a grave mistake, undermining decades of U.S. law that protects the rights of refugees to access asylum protections. Congress must reverse this dangerous action and remove the asylum ban from any legislation sent to President Biden,” said Jennifer Quigley, Senior Director of Government Affairs. “The lives of countless refugees depend on Congress restoring and respecting their human rights, not continuing Trump’s inhumane and racist policies.”
Title 42 is an obscure provision of a health law that the Trump administration weaponized during the COVID-19 pandemic to deny families, children, and adults arriving at the southern border their right to seek asylum in the United States. From the start, public health experts have opposed the misuse of this policy and repeatedly stated there is no legitimate public health rationale for a categorical ban on asylum seekers.
“Title 42 does not solve any of the problems that exist at the border. It sows chaos and unfairness while causing the U.S. government to violate our legal obligations to asylum seekers. It is a policy mired in racism and causes untold abuse to those the United States has promised to protect.” Quigley added. “It is politics at its worst, and Human Rights First urges members of Congress to reject any attempt to continue this horrendous policy and instead focus on restoring our asylum laws at the border.”
Since the U.S. government began using Title 42 to expel people in March 2020, Human Rights First has published reports documenting the severe human rights violations caused by the policy under both the Trump and Biden administrations. Since President Biden took office, Human Rights First has documented over 10,318 reported attacks against people expelled to Mexico under the Title 42 asylum ban. In addition, Human Rights First has issued an analysis documenting how the Title 42 policy causes disorder, undermines security, and is counterproductive to effective border management.