TAKE ACTION: Tell Our National Leaders to Welcome People Seeking Protection and Reject Dangerous and Immoral Anti-Asylum Policies


January 17, 2023

On January 5, 2023, President Biden announced a series of changes to U.S. asylum and border policy with wide-ranging implications for people seeking safety and refuge in the United States. The Biden administration is wrongfully expanding its use of Title 42 to expel people seeking asylum from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua and is harmfully continuing its expanded use of Title 42 against asylum seekers from Venezuela. Although this announced was coupled with a parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans, it is very limited, is not the same as asylum and will leave those who use this program in legal limbo upon arrival in the United States, and is at the expense of vulnerable people who are now turned away without a basic screening for asylum or other protections. This news followed the Supreme Court’s decision to keep the Title 42 policy in place, as well as the reports the administration plans to resurrect Trump-era asylum bans and other anti-asylum policies. 

President Biden needs to take steps toward fully restoring asylum protections and ending the Title 42 policy – not expand it. By expanding Title 42, the administration continues to erode the legal right to seek asylum and is violating our moral and legal obligations to welcome those seeking a safe place to call home. It is equally imperative that Congress hold the administration accountable to deliver on its promise to build a humane, welcoming, and just asylum system, to invest in community-based case management for asylum seekers, and to scale up access to the life-saving U.S. resettlement program.

Join us for a national call-in day on Wednesday, January 18th to tell Congress to reject proposals that block people fleeing persecution from permanent protection. Below is messaging guidance, a digital toolkit, and other resources to take action.

Contact Your 2 Senators and 1 Representative Today!

On the right-hand side, you can send an email or receive a phone call that connects you to your Members of Congress.

Sample Email/Script: “I’m your constituent from [city/town] and [a faith leader/refugee leader/community member]. I urge you to denounce the administration’s expansion of harmful and immoral Title 42 expulsions of vulnerable people seeking protection at the U.S. border and hold the administration accountable to build a humane, welcoming, and just asylum system, to invest in community-based case management for asylum seekers, and to scale up access to the life-saving U.S. resettlement program.

President Biden’s January 5th announcement – to wrongfully expand its use of Title 42 to expel people seeking asylum from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua and continue its expanded use of Title 42 against asylum seekers from Venezuela – was coupled with a very limited parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans that will leave those who use this program in legal limbo upon arrival in the United States. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home, and punitive, deterrence-based approaches to block migrants from seeking safety and protection in the United States should never be used. While new pathways to the United States are always welcome in the context of a restrictive U.S. immigration system, they should never be paired with enforcement measures that cut off asylum access at the border.

This news followed the Supreme Court’s December 2022 decision to keep the Title 42 policy in place, as well as the reports the administration plans to resurrect Trump-era asylum bans and other anti-asylum policies. Now is a critical time to reject any erosion of the legal right to seek asylum, violating our moral and legal obligations to welcome those seeking protection. Title 42 expulsions has further illuminated racial bias by disproportionately harming Black, Brown, and Indigenous asylum seekers. Human rights advocates have documented more than 10,000 violent attacks – including kidnappings, serious assaults, and deaths – against individuals who were expelled to or blocked in Mexico due to Title 42 since the beginning of the Biden administration. 

The Biden administration embracing a failed and immoral policy like Title 42 – and potentially an asylum transit ban – that has no basis as a public health measure and rapidly expels people to danger, denying them their legal right to seek asylum, is appalling. My community welcomes all asylum seekers and I urge you to do the same. Thank you.” 

Amplify on Social Media: Amplify this message on social media using the sample social posts below and these graphics. Additional Title 42 messaging is available here, and a social media toolkit is available here. Messaging guidance in response to the reports of an asylum transit ban is available here.

  • Title 42 violates our moral and legal obligations to welcome those in search of a safe place to call home. We must restore a working and just asylum system!
  • Title 42 expulsions:

➡️ violate U.S. and international law

➡️ have no basis as a public health measure

➡️ return people seeking asylum to grave human rights abuses

We must protect asylum seekers so they can find safety in the U.S.

  • We must continue to welcome children, families and ALL people seeking safety with compassion and dignity. The U.S. can and should restore its legacy of welcome and restore asylum protections.
  • The Biden transit ban would deny children and families fleeing persecution the right to seek protection at the border. @POTUS promised the American people that he would deliver solutions to keep families together, not condemn them to violence. #NoAsylumBan

Resources: 

Messaging & CBPOne Guides for T42 Exemptions:

Important Reminders about CBPOne and T42 Exemptions from Taylor Levy:

  • A Title 42 exemption is what allows a non-citizen without proper admission documents to go to the Port of Entry at a set date and time to seek admission as an asylum-seeker IF THEY HAVE A PARTICULAR VULNERABILITY in Mexico. You can always access my border updates here: https://tinyurl.com/2023BorderUpdates
  • There is no reason for noncitizens to pay ANYONE for assistance in requesting a Title 42 exemption: CBPOne is free, the process is free, and there is no need to pay an intermediary for access (though some people may struggle with the technological aspect, and a smart phone with internet service is required).
  • The app is currently only available in English and Spanish, but appointments are open to all nationalities. Haitian Creole and Russian versions of the app are forthcoming.
  • Access to making an appointment will be “geofenced” to individuals who are physically located in the U.S.-Mexico border and in some “major population centers” in Central Mexico (likely Mexico City and Monterrey; maybe other cities as well)–this process is NOT for people outside of Mexico.
  • It is still not advised for asylum-seekers to Mexican immigration officials to get a tourist visa / visa waiver to fly into Mexico as “tourists” with the intention of seeking asylum in the US. It is still not advised for U.S. immigration lawyers (including me) to advise potential clients on Mexican immigration law. Mexico remains very dangerous for asylum-seekers.
  • Appointments will be available in Matamoros, Piedras Negras, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales, Mexicali, and Tijuana.
  • There will be an undisclosed but limited number of available appointments, only scheduled about 14 days in advance. Each day at 8am CST, new appointment slots will be released.
  • Just like under the previous system, noncitizens who present for a Title 42 exemption will generally be issued a Notice to Appear and a one-year 212(d)(5) parole (“DT”) and will be eligible for c(11) EADs.
  • People with significant criminal or immigration history (perhaps even just prior orders of removal) and/or national security concerns may be detained, but this will be generally disfavored. Currently, we only see detentions in about 1-2% of cases, BUT any organization that has promised no detention risk in the past was not telling the truth.