UUSC Response to Continued Environmental, Social Threats to Communities in Tocoa, Honduras

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

“Two Years of Title 42 is Two Years Too Many”

On the second anniversary of the Title 42 order, UUSC again calls on Biden to end the Trump-era policy and fully restore asylum access at U.S. borders.
March 20, 2022 marks two full years since the Trump administration imposed sweeping anti-asylum restrictions at the U.S. border, invoking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s powers under Title 42 of the U.S. Code. In response to the Biden administration’s decision to continue and periodically renew the Title 42 policy, after more than a year in office, UUSC Vice President of Programs and human rights attorney Rachel Gore Freed issued the following statement:

Sunday marks two full years that the federal government has unilaterally shut down access to the asylum system and invoked unprecedented powers to expel migrants without a hearing. From the day it went into effect until the present, the Title 42 order has been used to expel people more than 2 million times, always without access to a preliminary screening or any other legal due process to assess their need for humanitarian protection. 

Thousands of people seeking safety have been summarily sent back to Mexico under this policy, where they are routinely kidnapped and extorted by criminal groups. The Biden administration has also deported 20,000 Haitians to their home country under Title 42, despite the fact that Haiti faces a grave political and humanitarian crisis. A president who promised on the campaign trail to bring ‘dignity and humanity’ to the U.S. immigration system has instead expelled countless people to unspeakable danger. 

While the Title 42 policy has long been defended under the pretext that it was needed to confront the COVID-19 public health crisis, its history and origins suggest otherwise. In truth, the implementation of the policy was the brainchild of anti-immigrant political appointees in the Trump administration who dug deep into the U.S. code to find a backdoor route to rapidly expel asylum-seekers. It is no surprise that actual public health experts, medical officials, and scientists—not to mention experts in international refugee law—have repeatedly condemned the policy and called for its end. 

UUSC again joins our voice to theirs, as well as that of innumerable asylum-seekers from around the globe who have been cruelly and needlessly denied their internationally protected human rights. President Biden, two years of Title 42 is two years too many. Our global community is being tested at this moment to provide refuge for families and those seeking safety. We call on you to end this inhumane policy now and restore access to humanitarian protection at our borders. 

UUSC and our partners UUs for Social Justice are leading a faith sign-on letter calling for an immediate end to Title 42 and full restoration of asylum. UUSC members are also invited to participate in a March 21 day of action to respond to the two-year anniversary. More resources are available on UUSC’s website here

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The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights and solidarity organization founded as a rescue mission in 1940 during the Holocaust. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with a membership of more than 35,000 supporters across the United States, UUSC’s programs focus on the issues of climate and disaster justice, migrant justice, and international justice and accountability.

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