As the days countdown towards the May 11 termination of Title 42, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) staff is preparing for what is likely to be an increase in the number of migrants and asylum seekers being served on the US side of the United States border with Mexico. Title 42, a COVID-era policy, has been used as a tool to bypass legal systems and has kept thousands of people from rightly requesting asylum in the United States.
“While we agree with the end of Title 42, we need to make sure that we are rolling out a plan that is good for those who are seeking safety in the United States and those who are trying to assist them,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of JRS/USA. “Our focus remains on those who are trying to request asylum according to our laws, helping them on the next step of their journey to safety.”
In preparation for the end of Title 42, JRS/USA has increased staff based in El Paso, TX who are continuing to provide mental health and psychosocial support services as well as offering orientation to the legal processes and other humanitarian assistance.
“We are seeing an influx of people who need help and it can become overwhelming,” said Maria Torres, JRS/USA’s Director of Domestic Programs. “Realistically, we see people who have risked their lives to come here and many have nothing but a blanket, if that. The situation for many here is dire.”
As the US continues to address challenges faced at our southern border, JRS/USA urges the Biden Administration and Congress to support policies that recognize the inherent dignity of those seeking protection in the US. The US must prioritize implementation of a fair and humane asylum system, in accordance with the long-established values of our country.
More information on Caminar Contigo, JRS/USA’s and JRS Mexico’s Binational Border Response Program, can be found here. Information on getting involved by way of the Migrant Accompaniment Network can be found on our website.