Upholding Title 42 Policy Keeps Children and Families in Harm’s Way

Washington, D.C., May 20, 2022–The decision by a federal judge in Louisiana to uphold Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allowed the U.S. government to turn away asylum seekers on the basis of COVID-19 transmission, unequivocally hurts the safety and well-being of immigrant families and children. Today’s ruling means that children and families will continue to be subject to massive human rights violations, all under the false pretense of protecting public health.  

Since March 2020 when Title 42 went into effect, more than 1.7 million people have been expelled to dangerous conditions back in their home country or along the Mexican border. Many of those expelled have been children and families seeking asylum and who are predominantly people of color. The ruling to allow Title 42 expulsions to continue comes despite the CDC’s decision to rescind the order, opposition by public health experts, evidence that Title 42 expulsions have not prevented the spread of COVID-19, and reports of 10,250  incidences of “murder, kidnapping, rape, torture and other violent attacks” among those expelled since February 2021.   

CLASP condemns the decision and calls on the Biden Administration to move quickly to appeal the decision and end this misguided, racist, and harmful policy. We also call on the administration and Congress to uphold the well-established right to seek asylum under U.S and international law and to reject any policy or proposal that would undermine that fundamental right. We as a country have the resources and compassion to live by our values and welcome those who come to our country seeking safety with dignity and respect.