WASHINGTON, D.C. — FWD.us Vice President of Advocacy Alida Garcia issued the following statement today after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced its plans to rescind its Title 42 order on May 23, 2022:
“Stating their plan to end Title 42 is a welcome and long-overdue step forward from the harm of the Trump Administration. The Trump Administration’s original use of Title 42 was never about public health, but instead exploited the pain and fear of the American people during the pandemic to cut legal immigration in as many ways as possible, including by blocking asylum for thousands of vulnerable children, families, and individuals. It is important that in the polarized political panic of today, this announcement is taken for what it is: a straightforward step to begin normalizing border management. Functional border security cannot rely on public health measures as means for deterrence. As we’ve witnessed all year and in past administrations, harsh deterrence policy – like separating families or expelling a vulnerable person to the nation they fled via Title 42 – will not stop migration.
“Winding down Title 42 is going to take immense focus and follow through, and while we know implementation will have bumps along the road, it’s our expectation that the Biden Administration will see this to the finish line. The goal is not a world of zero migrants at our Southern border – the goal should be a functional system broader than asylum that can handle both predictable and unexpected shifts happening in the world. This requires expanding legal immigration avenues to manage any migration in the medium- and long-term. Ending Title 42 is only one tiny piece of building that functional system.
“We hope the Biden Administration utilizes the interim time ahead of May 23 to collaborate closely with on-the-ground NGO partners who know firsthand how Title 42 has denied vulnerable individuals and families their legal right to seek asylum. The horrors of Title 42 expulsions are clear: people fleeing violence and persecution have suffered nearly ten thousand documented instances of kidnapping, torture, sexual assault, and murder. The policy has been particularly dangerous for Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ people seeking asylum, and failing to consider this disproportionate harm in any planning to lift the order will continue to place these especially vulnerable populations at increased risk. The Administration is right to have exempted Ukrainian asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors from Title 42 exclusions, and we urge them to meet all people seeking asylum, regardless of their race or nationality, with the same dignity and sense of urgency.
“People from across the world will continue to seek refuge in the United States, and we honor our deepest values when we welcome them to find safe harbor in a way that is fair, orderly, and humane. We are capable of living up to these ideals, and today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is a crucial step in that direction.”