Title 42 Termination: A Critical Development for Children, Families

The following statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, D.C., April 1, 2022—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement to terminate Title 42, effective May 23, 2022, is the right decision. However, it’s a long-overdue development because any day the policy remains in place is a day too long.

Title 42 is a Trump-era anti-child and anti-family policy that has put children’s lives in danger and undermined the ability of families to stay together. It’s also a racist policy that has disproportionately put brown and Black children and families in harm’s way. For the past two years, the Department of Homeland Security has used Title 42 to expel more than 1.7 million people—many of them asylum seekers—to Mexico or back to the country they were seeking to flee. The policy was instituted in a misguided response to the COVID crisis, consistent with the litany of anti-immigrant actions that inflicted devastating harm on children and families in recent years.

Moving forward, the Biden-Harris Administration must uphold the best interests of children by working with communities that stand ready to welcome and support children and families seeking safety. Our nation guarantees the right to seek legal asylum under U.S. law, and Title 42 is an impediment to that. We also caution the administration to avoid the error of turning to more detention that would further traumatize asylum-seeking children and families. We as a country have the resources and compassion to rise to the challenge of providing safe haven and building an immigration system that upholds child wellbeing and family unity.