Human Rights First: Extended Title 42 Order Continues Trump’s Cruel, Baseless Policy, Endangers People Seeking Asylum
WASHINGTON – Coming at the same time that the Biden administration restarted Remain in Mexico, reports on Friday indicated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had again extended its much-criticized Title 42 order, which the Biden administration uses to block and expel people seeking asylum. Human Rights First again called on the administration to end inhumane Trump policies and uphold asylum law at U.S. ports of entry and across the border.
“The Biden administration is compounding the suffering inflicted on asylum seekers by choosing to continue its use of the Trump administration’s Title 42 policy, and to now wield it in tandem with its restart and expansion of the notorious Remain in Mexico policy,” said Human Rights First’s Senior Director for Refugee Protection Eleanor Acer. “There is no public health basis for blocking people from seeking safety in the United States or for expelling them to danger in Mexico. The policy was specious under the Trump administration, and it is specious now. People expelled due to this administration’s embrace of this policy are systematically targeted for brutal violations of human rights at our nation’s doorstep. The administration has a legal and moral obligation to end this unjust policy and restart asylum now.”
Human Rights First has tracked at least 7,647 kidnappings, sexual assaults, and other violent attacks against people blocked at ports of entry or expelled to Mexico under Title 42 since President Biden took office. Public health experts have repeatedly explained that asylum seekers can be safely processed using public health measures similar to those now in place for others entering the country.
“The Biden administration’s decision to extend Title 42, while simultaneously welcoming tourists into the United States, perpetuates xenophobic, racially-based tropes presenting immigrants as vectors of disease,” said Kennji Kizuka, associate director for research on refugee protection at Human Rights First. “With both Title 42 and the expansion of Remain in Mexico to include Haitians, Jamaicans and other new nationalities from the Americas, the Biden administration is reinforcing racist ideologies and endangering Black lives. These policies have no basis in science, let alone public health.”
In the wake of the Biden administration’s violent expulsion of thousands of Haitians at the southern border, Human Rights First and the Haitian Bridge Alliance released a fact sheet in September on the administration’s dangerous Haitian expulsion strategy and the U.S. history of illegal and discriminatory mistreatment of Haitians seeking safety in the United States.
Human Rights First has repeatedly outlined recommendations for the Biden administration to restore asylum and uphold refugee law, including restoring asylum at U.S. ports of entry.