Title 42 Hostile to LGBTQ Asylum Seekers, Biden Administration Must End Policy Immediately
New York, NY (March 24, 2022) — This week marks the two-year anniversary of the use of Title 42 to rapidly expel asylum seekers at the southern border, purportedly to protect Americans from COVID-19. The Trump administration initiated the appalling practice, using the pandemic as a pretext for turning away refugees, and the Biden administration has done nothing to stop it.
By March 30th, the Biden administration must review whether to extend, modify, or end the policy. Immigration Equality joins dozens of groups nationwide in calling on the Biden administration to end the dangerous policy immediately.
Statement from Immigration Equality’s Executive Director, Aaron C. Morris:
“The Biden administration’s use of Title 42 to expel asylum seekers at our southern border is immoral, unlawful, and cruel. Since the beginning of President Biden’s tenure, he has overseen the expulsion of 1.3 million asylum seekers and migrants, over twice as many as the Trump administration. President Biden has effectively championed the misuse of Title 42 by extending, defending, and funding the policy for over a year.
“Top CDC officials opposed using Title 42 in this way from the start, noting that doing so does nothing to protect the public health. Two years later, as pandemic restrictions are lifted across the nation, it is even more plainly evident that the purpose of the practice is not to protect Americans from COVID, but to deny asylum seekers their day in court.
“According to Human Rights First, nearly 10,000 people have been kidnapped, tortured, raped, or subjected to other violent attacks during the Biden administration after being blocked from entering the U.S. under Title 42. This staggering number includes hundreds of LGBTQ asylum seekers who came to the U.S. to be safe and to live as their true selves without fear. Due to the Biden administration’s use of Title 42, they are being illegally expelled without being given the chance to present their asylum claims.
“LGBTQ asylum seekers are being sent back to Mexico or to their countries of origin, putting them in grave danger. Those who are forced to wait in Mexico are vulnerable to persecution by cartels and Mexican police. Human Rights First collected two dozen testimonies from LGBTQ asylum seekers in Mexico, many of whom had been kidnapped or raped.
“During his campaign, President Biden asserted that, ‘We’re going to restore our moral standing in the world and our historic role as a safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers.’ But for as long as his administration continues to misuse Title 42 to the detriment of LGBTQ refugees, that statement will be an empty promise.