A federal district court in Louisiana last week barred the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security from ceasing the practice of expelling migrants under a rule, known as Title 42, that was supposedly intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As a result of this policy, first invoked by the Trump administration and then wrongly continued by the Biden administration, countless migrants have been expelled without due process.
This ruling is devastating for countless asylum seekers and their families who will continue to be denied their due process and sent back to face violence, harm and privation without ever having a chance to present their asylum case.
This unprecedented use of Title 42, which has cut off access to safety and protection for asylum seekers and resulted in family separations, has been decried by public health experts, including CDC scientists. The expulsions have disproportionately impacted Black immigrants and asylum seekers, who have been expelled at higher rates than other immigrants. Title 42 is supposed to be about public health, but instead it is being used as an unlawful and racist immigration enforcement measure.
While the ruling is a setback to the Biden administration’s promise to rebuild our asylum system, they must fight on to keep these commitments. We also will continue to fight for a fair and humane asylum process for all those who seek protection.
Top picture: Migrants and asylum seekers march in protest against Title 42 on Sunday, May 22, 2022, near the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico. Title 42 is the colloquial name for an order that can effectively prevent anyone without a visa from entering the United States, even to claim asylum. (Credit: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images)