Southern Border

300+ immigrant and human rights organizations demand Biden end Title 42

Submitted via email

March 10, 2022

Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris:

For nearly two years the U.S. government has ruthlessly blocked and expelled people seeking protection at the southern border without allowing them to apply for asylum, as U.S. and international law requires. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began expulsions under the Trump administration using orders by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – the first of which was issued on March 20, 2020. To our dismay the Biden-Harris administration has not only failed to end this illegal and unjustifiable policy but renewed, defended, and expanded it with illegal expulsions now being carried out to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Mexico. In the wake of the recent court rulings, we call on your administration to immediately end the Title 42 policy, stop defending this illegal and inhumane policy in court, restore meaningful access to asylum at U.S. borders, and welcome with dignity the families and individuals seeking protection in the United States.

The litany of Title 42’s horrors is nearly too awful to enumerate. During your administration alone:

  • at least 8,705 reports of kidnapping, rape, trafficking, torture, and other attacks on people blocked in or expelled to Mexico under Title 42 by your administration, including LGBTQ, Black, and Indigenous asylum seekers targeted by cartels and corrupt officials;
  • refugees refouled to the countries where they had fled persecution and torture in violation of U.S. law and treaty obligations;
  • at least 20,000 Haitian families and individuals, including asylum seekers, expelled or deported, to increasing danger in Haiti many without a chance to request asylum;
  • thousands of children sent alone across the border to the United States by families expelled under Title 42 desperate to protect them from harm while stranded in Mexico; and
  • more than 90,000 expulsions at the southern border without due process, on average, each month – more than twice the monthly average of expulsions carried out under President Trump.

This policy has never been about public health: your administration is using Title 42 to single out and block people requesting protection in the United States at the same time as it has lifted travel restrictions for other travelers. Senior CDC scientists objected to the Title 42 order when it was issued under the Trump administration. Leading epidemiologists and medical experts have repeatedly affirmed that the policy undermines public health and have published rational, science-based measures to safely process people seeking protection at the border. But your administration has chosen to ignore these recommendations. Instead, DHS continues to turn away people seeking life-saving asylum protection along the border, including at ports of entry, while vaccinated tourists and shoppers can now enter the United States through these same ports.

The continued use of Title 42 is spurring disorder and undermining security at the border. Rapid expulsions without legal process have resulted in massive increases in repeat border crossings, and the failure to comply with asylum law at ports of entry has pushed asylum seekers to undertake increasingly deadly border crossings. Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, Venezuelan and other people seeking asylum, who largely sought asylum at ports of entry, are now overwhelmingly crossing away from official crossing points.

The Title 42 policy is a stain on the conscience of the United States. Former and current government officials, members of Congress, federal courts, and UNHCR have sounded the same urgent alarm: the Title 42 policy violates domestic law and international treaty obligations to protect refugees from forced return to persecution and torture. The continued use of the Title 42 policy indelibly marks your administration as complicit in human rights abuses on a massive scale.

The United States encourages other countries to uphold refugee law and welcome people fleeing across borders in search of protection, including those now forced to flee Ukraine. We urge your administration to lead by example and uphold refugee law at U.S. borders.

CC: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Antony Blinken, Department of State
Ambassador Susan Rice, Domestic Policy Council
Advisor Jake Sullivan, National Security Council

AI Justice
Action Secours Ambulance (ASA)
Advocating Opportunity
Afghan Diaspora for Equality and Progress
Afghans For A Better Tomorrow
African Advocacy Network
African Communities Together
Al Otro Lado
Albergue Tochan-Nuestra Casa
Alianza Americas
Alianzas, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington – VA
Alma Migrante
American Civil Liberties Union
American Friends Service Committee
American Immigration Council
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Americans for Immigrant Justice
Angry Tias and Abuelas
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
Apoyo Legal Migrante Asociado (ALMA)
Arab American Family Services
Arizona Justice For Our Neighbors
Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach
Asociación Civil Venezolanos en Córdoba Argentina
Asociación Colectiva en Apoyo a las Movilidades y Migraciones Libres y Elegidas en
Mesoamérica “COLIBRES-ERMUA”
Asociación Coordinadora Comunitaria de Servicios para la Salud “ACCSS”
Asociación La Alianza
Asociación Pop No’j
Asylum Access
Asylum Access Mexico
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)
Asylum Seeker Network of Support, Inc.
Bellevue Program for Survivors of Torture
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action – Maryland
Border Network for Human Rights
Border Organizing Project
Bridges Faith Initiative
Caleidoscopio Humano
California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice
California Institute for Rural Studies
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
Canada Venezuela Democracy Forum
Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C.
Casa Monarca. Humanitarian Aid for migrants
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Catholic Legal Services, Archdiocese of Miami
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for the Protection of Refugees and International Migrants (CEPREMI)
Center for Victims of Torture
Central American Resource Center of Northern CA – CARECEN SF
Centro de derechos Humanos de la universidad Católica Andrés Bello
Centro de Estudios de Guatemala
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales
Centro Legal de la Raza
Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)
Chicago Jewish Coalition for Refugees
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)
Children’s HealthWatch
Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice
Church World Service
Church World Service – Lancaster
Civilis Derechos Humanos
Clínica Jurídica de Migrantes y Refugiados UDP
Coalición por Venezuela
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Coalition on Human Needs
Colectivo Contra la Tortura y la Impunidad (CCTI)
Colectivo de Observación y Monitoreo de Derechos Humanos en el Sureste Mexicano
Colectivo de Solidaridad con el pueblo de Honduras
Colombia Grassroots Support
Comisio de Accion Social Menonita (CASM)
Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH)
Comite de Solidaridad y Derechos Humanos Monseñor Romero
Community Asylum Seekers Project
Community Change Action
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim
Comunidades Sin Fronteras CFS – CT INC
Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants
Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento-CODHES.
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Cuerpo Académico Procesos Transnacionales y Migración BUAP-CA-230
Denver Justice and Peace Committee (DJPC)
Detention Watch Network
Dignidad y Justicia en el Camino A.C “FM4 Paso Libre”
Disciples Refugee and Immigration Ministries
Doctors for America
Doctors for Camp Closure
East Bay Sanctuary Covenant
Education and Leadership Foundation
El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación ERIC
Espacio Migrante
Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project
Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) Action
Faith in New York
Familias Unidas en Acción
Families For Freedom
Family Violence Appellate Project
Fellowship Southwest
First Focus on Children
Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project
Florida Immigrant Coalition
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America
Formación y Capacitación A.C.
Franciscan Action Network
Freedom for Immigrants (FFI)
Freedom Network USA
FRENTE Nacional de Inmigrantes
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Fundacion Aguavlara
Fundación Nakama’s
Galveston-Houston Immigrant Representation Project
Global Exchage
Global Justice Clinic, Washington Square Legal Services
Global labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF)
Government Accountability Project
Granite State Organizing Project
Gridley House Antiques
Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA
Haitian Bridge Alliance
HI Coalition for Immigrant Rights
HIAS Pennsylvania
Hispanic Connection of Southern Indiana
Hispanic Federation
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC
Hope Border Institute
Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
Human Impact Partners
Human Rights First
Human Rights Initiative of North Texas
Human Rights Institute – San José State University
Iglesia Luterana Mexicana Pastoral de Migración
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Immigrant Justice Task Force, Wellington UCC
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Immigrant Rights Action
Iniciativa Ciudadana región Puebla
Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI)
Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America
Interfaith Welcome Coalition – San Antonio
International Mayan League
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
International Rescue Committee
Jesuit Refugee Service México
Jewish Acitvists for Immigration Justice Western Massachusetts
Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Just Neighbors Ministry
Justice Action Center
Justice for Migrant Women
Justice For Our Neighbors – El Paso
Justice For Our Neighbors – North Central Texas
Justice in Motion
Kern Welcoming and Extending Solidarity to Immigrants (KWESI)
Kino Border Initiative
La 72, Hogar – Refugio para personas migrantes
La Casa de Amistad, South Bend, IN
La Conexion
La Mesa Boricua De Florida
La Raza Centro Legal, San Francisco
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
Las Vanders
Latin Advocacy Network (LATINAN)
Latinas en Poder
Law Office of Peggy J. Bristol
Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG)
Legal Services for Children
Linn-Benton Rapid Response Team
LIUNA Local 270
Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership
Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Maryland Against ICE Detention
Maryland Legislative Coalition
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Mennonite Central Committee U.S.
Michigan Immigrant Rights Center
Michigan United
Mid-South Immigration Advocates
Middle Eastern Immigrant and Refugee Alliance
Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mississippi Center for Justice
Monitor Social A.C.
Movilidades Libres y Elegidas, A.C.
Mujeres Unidas y Activas
National Education Association
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
National Partnership for New Americans
Nebraska Appleseed
Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Never Again Action
New Hampshire – Vermont Guatemala Accompaniment Project
New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)
New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Justice for Our Neighbors, Inc.
Nicaragua Center for Community Action
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
OC Rapid Response Network
One New Education
Open Door Legal
Orange County Equality Coalition
Organized Communities Against Deportations
Our Children Oregon
Oxfam America
Partido Liberta y Refundacion
Pastoral Movilidad Humana
Perspektyf by Kai Schoenhals
Physicians for Human Rights
Programa de Asuntos Migratorios Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México
Progressive Doctors
Project Lifeline
Projet Accompagnament Quebec-Guatemala (PAQG)
Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA School of Law
Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator
Public Law Center
Puentes de Cristo
Quixote Center
Rainbow Beginnings
Red Jesuita con Migrantes Centroamérica y Norteamérica, RJM CANA
Red Jesuita con Migrantes LAC
Refugee Action Network
Refugee Congress
Refugee Education & Adventure Challenge (REACH)
Refugees International
Revolve Impact
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
Salud integral para la Mujer
San Joaquin College of Law
Save the Children
Save the Children Mexico
SB County Immigrant Legal Defense Center
Scalabrinianas Misión con Migrantes y Refugiados – SMR
Secretariado Cristiano de Solidaridad con America Latina SICSAL
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Service Jésuite aux Migrants-Haïti (SJM-Haïti)
Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN)
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Southeast Immigrant Rights Network
Southern Poverty Law Center
St. Nicholas Catholic Church
Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Tahirih Justice Center
Takoma Park Mobilization – Equal Justice
Taylor Levy Law
Team Brownsville
Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition
Texas Civil Rights Project
The Advocates for Human Rights
The Door
The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
The Sidewalk School
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
UndocuBlack Network
Unidos Bridging Community
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice
United We Dream
Universidad Veracruzana
University of San Francisco Immigration & Deportation Defense Clinic
University of Texas at Austin
Vermont Interfaith Action
Voice for Refuge Action Fund
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Watsonville Law Center, Nonprofit Legal Services CA Central Coast
We Are All America
Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration
Wilson Immigration
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Witness at the Border
Women’s Refugee Commission
World Refugee Day Chicago
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights