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Biden’s Historic Asylum Ban Places Black and Brown Migrants At Risk of Persecution, Potential Death


Washington, DC –Todayfollowing three years of advocacy and legal battles that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, the white supremacist and Trump-era policy known as Title 42 finally came to an end. The policy, which allowed for the rapid expulsion of more than two million asylum seekers, was introduced in March 2020, disguised as a public health measure and response to Covid-19. 

From its inception, UndocuBlack and partner organizations sounded the alarm on the illegality and immorality of Title 42. We named that the policy was never motivated by a concern for public health but rather a political play to continue to keep Black and Brown asylum seekers out of the country. As evidenced by the over 200 deportation flights sent to Haiti, this deadly policy was successful in its intent, with a disproportionate impact on Black migrants. The Biden administration’s long-overdue termination of the policy is a step towards U.S. compliance with domestic and international laws.

Yet, the UndocuBlack Network remains deeply disturbed by the Administration’s choice to replace Title 42 with its own inhumane deterrence policies. The policies announced by the Biden-Harris administration mimic both the cruel intent and consequences of Title 42 by: 

  • Perpetuating the disproportionate harm on Black asylum seekers
  • Violating the United States’ international and domestic legal obligation provides those fleeing persecution and danger the right to seek asylum.
  • Violating the rights of asylum seekers by rapidly detaining or deporting them back to dangerous conditions or imminent death

“The end of Title 42 is a baseline step to reinstating a fair and effective asylum system. It should not have taken more than a year to convince the Administration to end this policy.   Today marks a return to the legal and moral obligation to protect people fleeing persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Nevertheless, we cannot celebrate as the Biden-Harris administration creates more barriers to seeking asylum, all of which will further disproportionately impact Black migrants,” said Haddy Gassama, National Director of Policy and Advocacy.

“In addition to the Department of Homeland Security sending 1,500 additional military personnel from the Department of Defense to  the Southern Border, the administration has noted their plans to officially implement the deadly asylum ban despite thousands of opposition comments. The administration seeks to further deter migrants from seeking asylum by creating processing centers in countries that have systematically dehumanized Black immigrants and denied them basic necessities such as physical safety and healthcare. Despite the Administration’s purported goals and now failed campaign promises to build an equitable immigration system that welcomes all, we continue to see the expansion of these harmful and anti-Black policies. UndocuBlack will continue to fight against such policies while calling for the establishment of a truly equitable asylum system that protects and treats Black migrants with dignity.”  

UndocuBlack “is a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources, and contributes to transforming the realities of our people, so we are thriving and living our fullest lives.”

Follow @UndocuBlack on Twitter.

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