Updated: November 18, 2022
On November 15, a Federal judge blocked Title 42 a pandemic-era policy that immediately expelled migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border. The Biden Administration has since requested a delay in implementation of the judge’s order until December 21. JRS/USA is on the front lines in El Paso, TX and Cd. Juarez, Mexico, helping asylum seekers with mental health and other services, including providing legal information, as they await their opportunity to request protection in the U.S.
“We are encouraged by the U.S. District Court’s decision to void Title 42, a public health order that effectively closed the U.S. border to asylum seekers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director, JRS/USA. “Almost three years after this inhumane policy was first implemented, we have seen first-hand the negative impact it has had on thousands of individuals and families seeking safety in the U.S. We urge the Biden Administration to accept and implement this ruling as quickly and effectively as possible and look forward to accompanying and serving asylum seekers as they petition for protection in the U.S.”
Yesterday, JRS/USA and Hope Border Institute hosted a webinar that highlighted the challenges faced by asylum seekers returned to Mexico under Title 42. The Administration recently expanded Title 42 to include Venezuelans who had previously been exempted from this policy. As a result, over 80,000 thousand Venezuelans have been stranded in Mexico with limited access to basic services and opportunities for international protection.
“While the future of Title 42 remains uncertain, the Biden Administration must turn away from ad hoc policies that place restrictions on the ability of displaced individuals and families to seek asylum,” said Giulia McPherson, Director of Advocacy at JRS/USA. “At the same time, an over-reliance on short-term mechanisms like humanitarian parole can only further erode the US asylum system. The Administration must focus on rebuilding an asylum program that offers critical protection to the most vulnerable.”