Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America welcomes today’s lifting of Title 42. This shameful Trump-era policy was imposed under the façade of preventing the spread of COVID-19, but has instead been used to justify the inhumane separation of families and the expulsion of millions of migrations, including those seeking asylum. Today’s concurrent declaration by the Biden Administration to end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency effectively removes this justification, allowing Title 42 to expire.
FP4A recognizes that the U.S. and our partners around the world face an unprecedented migration crisis, and that our current immigration system is outdated, underresourced, and dysfunctional. There are rational and humane ways to address this challenge. They include expanding legal pathways and protections for migrants and asylum-seekers, supporting our DREAMers, and strengthening cooperation with our regional neighbors to address root causes of mass migration. We support efforts like the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, the Menedez Plan, and the Welcome Corps, which center these principles.
We welcome serious attempts by Congress to find solutions. Unfortunately, legislation currently being considered in the House and Senate are short-sighted and do nothing to fix our dysfunctional system. Instead, they gut humanitarian protections for asylum seekers, undermine the rule of law and due process, and prioritize ineffectual Trump-era projects like the border wall. Congress should reject these efforts and work toward comprehensive and sustainable reforms.
Title 42 was an inhumane order that has outlived its original dubious rationale, and has been used to deny protection to thousands of asylum seekers. While FP4A welcomes its expiration, this is an opportunity to re-examine our immigration system and propose change. We can and should take steps to ensure a secure, orderly, and well-managed border while ensuring that our immigration policy is first and formemost consistent with our humanitarian values and history as a country of immigrants.
“Title 42 was a dangerous and cynical ploy to balance our dysfunctional immigration system on the backs of vulnerable people fleeing violence and oppression,” said Elisa Massimino, who sits on FP4A’s Board of Directors. “As the Biden Administration finally ends that farce and works to repair our immigration system, it should ensure that we honor our obligation to protect those seeking safety in America’s arms.”