Washington, D.C. — Today, the Biden administration announced it would end its use of Title 42 on May 23, 2022. For two years, Title 42 has been used to justify the rapid expulsion of migrants at the border and the denial of their right to seek asylum.
“Policies like Title 42 have long been used as pretexts to keep immigrants and refugees out of the United States,” said Archi Pyati, Tahirih’s CEO. “Narratives about immigrants suggesting that they are more likely to carry disease or pose threats to national security or community safety are unfounded and rooted in racism. Immigration policy must instead recognize the richness that immigration brings to our society while valuing the humanity of every individual who seeks to make this nation their temporary or permanent home.”
Tahirih welcomes the long overdue rescission of this policy. It has caused harm to immigrant survivors of violence who could not apply for or receive protection from persecution while it lasted. But its end should be immediate. Survivors of abuse, trafficking, rape, and other forms of gender-based violence are still in harm’s way every minute they are refused entry or denied protection.
The administration must ensure that all immigrants survivors of violence are treated with respect and dignity and interviewed by trauma-informed staff. In particular, it cannot replace Title 42 with a dramatic expansion of the Remain in Mexico policy, which also subjects survivors to horrific violence and prevents them from meaningfully pursuing asylum claims in the United States. 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 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 immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. By amplifying the experiences of survivors in communities, courts, and Congress, Tahirih’s mission is to create a world in which all people share equal rights and live in safety and with dignity