Washington, D.C.—On Tuesday, District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled against the continuation of Title 42, the inhumane and unlawful policy begun under President Trump and that has continued under the Biden administration. Title 42 was used to expel millions of vulnerable individuals seeking refuge at the southern border without due process, and under the false pretense of public health. CWS welcomes the long overdue end of this policy, and encourages the current administration to accept the decision without delay.
“The harmful and immoral Title 42 policy expelled and turned away families and individuals seeking a safe place to call home,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Church World Service. “Title 42 was never about public health, serving only as a tool to wrongfully and unlawfully prevent the most vulnerable from protection. The faith community has resolutely denounced expulsions under this cruel program, as well as all anti-asylum policies forcing people to return back to the very harm they fled. We commend this ruling and urge the administration to accept this decision, fully restore all asylum protections, and finish the job of righting the wrongs of family separation and other similar practices.”
While faith groups, public health experts and the CDC consistently concluded that the policy lacked any public health rationale, Title 42 continued. The policy prevented asylum seekers from pursuing their legal right to safety, and disproportionately targeted Haitians and other Black migrants seeking protection. This September, Title 42 was expanded further by blocking Venezuelans fleeing violence and persecution.
This harmful and discriminatory policy not only undermined the pillars of welcome and due process that form the foundation of the United States, but caused much loss of life by forcing those seeking asylum back into the danger and harm from which they fled. While CWS commends the ruling and an end to this policy, the organization grieves for those whose lives and safety were threatened, compromised, and cruelly dismissed for the years of its continuation.
“It is a moral outrage to see the ways this administration has continued the Trump legacy of rejecting asylum seekers through a false premise of public health and misuse of Title 42,” added Rev. Noel Andersen, Director of Grassroots Organizing for CWS. “Faith communities across the country have been working to welcome asylum seekers through direct service and legal assistance while continuing to speak out about the immoral usage of Title 42. This federal court ruling is a victory for asylum seekers and all those who are working to restore our asylum program’s integrity. We call upon this administration and Congress to uphold our tradition of welcome and to provide enhanced funding and infrastructure so that we welcome asylum seekers with the dignity they deserve.”
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