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Urge the Biden Administration to Rebuild and Restore a Humane and Just Asylum Process
On April 1, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officially announced the termination of Title 42, a Trump-era policy that baselessly seized the pandemic as an opportunity to prevent migrants from legally seeking protection through asylum. The termination is set to go into effect on May 23, 2022, more than two years after the rule was initially implemented. Following the release of the CDC Order, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a statement confirming the end of Title 42 and indicating initial plans for increasing its capacity to process asylum seekers. 

Under the Trump and Biden administrations, this cruel and unjust policy led to the expulsions of tens of thousands of migrants, a disproportionate number of whom are Black and Brown. While the rule used the guise of public health, it was rooted in xenophobia, designed to stoke fear and deny asylum seekers at our Southern border the right to dignity, safety, and the preservation of the family unit.

LIRS welcomes the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 and has not been alone in condemning this policy. Legislators from both parties, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Black-led and human rights organizations across the world agree that Title 42 is in violation of international and domestic laws.  As the administration finally plans to end the shameful use of Title 42, we urge President Biden to rebuild and restore a humane, just asylum process. Returning to the status quo would fail to meet this moment or to acknowledge the tremendous pain and suffering inflicted on our fellow image-bearers. We, the United States, must do better!

Now is the time for a truly just, fair, and humane asylum system that welcomes and supports ALL persons seeking protection. Our country has the capacity and compassion to restore our asylum system for all seeking safety, to strengthen and expand legal pathways for those who are fleeing persecution, torture, or war, and to keep our promise to keep people safe and families together. 

Join us in calling on the administration to:

  • Restore access to asylum for all who seek safety and are in need of protection, as consistent with U.S. law and international agreements.
  • Develop a safe, humane, and orderly process that honors the dignity of the protection-seeking migrant and their legal right to ask for asylum at the southern border.
  • Drastically increase processing capacity and process asylum seekers at facilities that are safe, appropriately staffed, and avoid overcrowding. 
  • Coordinate with faith-based and community partners at the border and the interior who are eager to welcome and support asylum seekers.
  • Ensure resources and facilities at the border acknowledge and respect the dignity and diversity of people seeking safety and are equipped to provide culturally proficient information and services in multiple languages.
  • Significantly increase access to legal services and well as capacity in the immigration system including asylum officers and judges.
  • End the use of private prisons to detain people awaiting their asylum hearing and, instead, implement community-based models that are less expensive, safer, and more humane.
  • Ensure that asylum seekers have timely access to work permits so that they may sustain themselves while their case is being processed.
  • End the Migration Protection Protocols, or Remain in Mexico, policy.

 

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