Action Center

Tell Congress and the Biden Administration to Restore Asylum
Since the start of the pandemic, the United States has summarily expelled over 2.5 million asylum seekers under Title 42, a policy that used the guise of public health to prevent people from legally seeking refuge in the U.S. In March 2020, the Trump administration invoked Title 42, and, despite promising to end the policy, it has continued under President Biden leading to the expulsion of over 22,000 Haitians since January 2021.

Despite making multiple promises to end the policy, the Biden administration is expanding Title 42 and planning to implement further policies to effectively ban asylum. Some members of Congress have also proposed implementing restrictive asylum policies. Tell President Biden and your Members of Congress to oppose any efforts to reinstate Title 42. It is time to end this unjust policy.


An asylum seeker is an individual who meets the international definition of a refugee – meaning that they are fleeing persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or specific social group membership – and who applies for protection inside the U.S. or at the border. The first formal refugee and asylum policies in the U.S. were passed in response to the millions of displaced people in Europe in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust. The Refugee Act of 1980 formalized the U.S. commitment to respond to people seeking protection from persecution across the globe.

Under U.S. and international law, anyone who steps on U.S. soil or who presents themselves at a U.S. port of entry is entitled to apply for asylum. An asylum seeker must then pass a “credible fear” interview in which an immigration agent determines if there is a “significant possibility” of danger for the individual in their home country.

In regular times, individuals claiming asylum are allowed to make their claim and wait within the U.S. as their case is decided. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration invoked a rule known as Title 42, allowing them to expel migrants under the guise of public health. Title 42 prohibits entry into the US when the CDC believes there is a threat of introducing a communicable disease into the country. President Biden continued using Title 42, most notably using it to expel and deport over 22,000 Haitian migrants and asylum seekers since January 2021.

The President has attempted to end Title 42, but it has remained in place as the Supreme Court is hearing a case around the policy. While the case remains in the courts, however, the Biden administration has expanded the policy and is planning to implement new policies to go in effect once Title 42 has ended, effectively banning asylum. Some members of Congress have also proposed expanding Title 42 or implementing other restrictive asylum policies.

While the President has put in place various humanitarian parole programs that are helping some migrants seek refuge, these policies are temporary and only helping people from certain countries. It is time to end Title 42 and restore asylum for all those seeking refuge.

Jewish Values

The Torah has many stories and laws that inspire us to welcome migrants and asylum seekers: Abraham and Sarah famously welcomed three mysterious guests into their tent. We read in Genesis that not only did Abraham allow the guests to enter, he also ran towards them, modeling the enthusiasm with which we should embrace those seeking refuge (Genesis 18:1-5). At Passover, we read about the importance of internalizing the lessons of the Exodus and reflecting this awareness in our actions. Deuteronomy teaches the importance of protecting those fleeing dangerous conditions, telling of the imperative to protect the escaped slave—an archetype of someone in physical danger (23:16). We draw inspiration from these sources and others as we call on our elected officials to welcome asylum seekers and refugees.

Tell President Biden and your Members of Congress to restore asylum once and for all.

For more information on this issue, visit the RAC’s Immigration Page or contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Rachel Klein.

Please note that a small number of Capitol Hill offices impose a strict character limit for incoming constituent emails. If you receive an error notification that your message is too long or cannot be sent, please manually shorten the message. This character limit is not controlled by the Religious Action Center or VoterVoice platform. 

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive emails from the RAC and URJ. You can manage your preferences at any time.

    Message Body
    Suggested Message
    Remaining: 0
  • Hide
    • Please call this number:

      Please do not close this window. You will need to come back to this window to enter your code.
      We just sent an email to ... containing a verification code.

      If you do not see the email within the next five minutes, please ensure you entered the correct email address and check your spam/junk mail folder.
      Enter Your Info