Washington D.C. – Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Biden Administration announced today that they will not be renewing Title 42, a Trump-era policy that has largely blocked Black and brown communities from seeking asylum in the U.S. since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration is expected to officially end the policy on May 23. Approximately 1.7 million expulsions have taken place under the policy since its implementation under the Trump Administration.
The Defund Hate campaign –a coalition of over 50 organizations working to cut funding from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)– issued the following statement:
“The Biden administration’s announcement today that it will move to end Title 42 by the end of May is a testament to years of organizing efforts from advocates nationwide who have been relentless in demanding an end to the injustices inflicted at the hands of ICE and CBP. Title 42 is and always has been unnecessary, unsafe, and anti-Black and never should have been implemented in the first place. Our country is at its best when we welcome all with dignity and humanity and respect their legal and moral right to seek asylum in the U.S.
We have more than enough resources to ensure those seeking safety in the U.S. can do so with the support of loved ones and opt-in community-based support programs, instead of behind bars in detention. As Congress negotiates a federal funding bill for 2023, they have every opportunity to ensure billions are invested in our communities, not more enforcement or invasive surveillance, so that families and communities are never separated or put in harm’s way because of unjust policies.
Under Title 42, Black and brown migrants have suffered significantly. While some Ukrainians fleeing the consequences of yet another deadly war have been able to seek asylum, those fleeing similar conditions from Black and brown nations have not been given the same right- evidence of the racism and xenophobia that drives our immigration enforcement policies We are reminded of what our communities have always known: expulsion, deportation, and detention have always been unnecessary cruelties. All people, regardless of where they were born, the color of their skin, their culture or religious affiliation, should be able to seek safety and refuge and deserve to be welcomed with compassion and understanding.
Some members of Congress have already started to use the ending of Title 42 as an excuse to buckle down on calls to expand the immigration detention system and further militarize the border region. There is absolutely no justification for giving billions of dollars to detain even more people, especially people and families seeking refuge. The administration should end Title 42 without relying on immigration detention and surveillance.
The recently signed 2022 federal funding bill proves that the funding to invest in our communities already exists! Rather than prioritizing billions of taxpayer dollars towards detaining people seeking safety or a better life, Congress and the Biden Administration must invest in welcoming immigrants and helping all our communities access the services and support we need to thrive.”