For three years, Title 42 has restricted access to asylum for migrants seeking protection in the U.S. and as it comes to a long-overdue end, the administration has decided to pass a rule that doubles down on illegal and inhumane policies that prioritize deterrence and violate due process. And they are doing so despite outcry from advocates across the country, thousands of comments submitted in opposition to the proposed rule, nearly 80 lawmakers, and condemnation by the asylum officers union.
Under the new asylum ban, migrants most vulnerable to violence and exploitation, including women and girls and other survivors of gender-based violence, will have little hope of finding safety and will languish at our southern border where they are at increased risk of violence, sexual assault, and trafficking.
“Survivors of abuse, trafficking, rape, and other forms of gender-based violence remain in harm’s way every minute they are refused entry or denied protection,” said Archi Pyati, Tahirih’s CEO. “Instead of trying to illegally deter migrants from asserting their legal rights, the administration should uphold its promise to restore humanity in our immigration system. The asylum policies of this administration should fulfill its longstanding commitment to address violence against women and uphold the rule of law. We can and must ensure that all immigrant survivors of violence are treated with respect and dignity and have meaningful access to justice. We urge the administration to reverse course.”
The rule relies on the faulty and restrictive CBP One app to offer limited appointments to those desperately seeking safety along our southern border. Those who enter the U.S. without an appointment after failing to seek protection in a transited country will almost certainly be ineligible for asylum and subjected to swift removal. In the end, this rule is even more punitive than expulsion under Title 42.
Our report, Surviving Deterrence, found that policies like this asylum ban greatly exacerbate the risk and prevalence of gender-based violence at the border, re-victimizing and re-traumatizing the most vulnerable groups of people, including women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ individuals already fleeing violence.
The United States must be a leader when it comes to welcoming vulnerable citizens of the world with open arms regardless of race, gender, and sexual identity. We are a nation of abundance, and we cannot claim to fight for human rights everywhere else when we turn our backs on people seeking a chance at survival and a better future on our own doorstep. As ever, Tahirih will continue to hold the U.S. government accountable for actions that violate international and national asylum laws.
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The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that serves women, girls, and all immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. By amplifying the experiences of survivors, our mission is to create a world in which all people share equal rights and live in safety and with dignity.