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On Friday, April 1st, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Biden-Harris administration announced that the de facto asylum ban, otherwise known as Title 42 expulsion policy, would end on May 23rd, 2022.
This Trump-era order, which was perpetrated by the Biden administration, has blocked migrants at the U.S. Southern border from seeking asylum, in clear defiance of international human rights laws. This restriction on the right to seek asylum and refuge from harmful conditions has lasted two years under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Advocates and public health experts have repeatedly denounced this policy and explained that the order had no medical basis. Title 42 has resulted in over one million people being expelled back to dangerous conditions, including over 20,000 Haitian migrants.
Black immigrants’ rights groups including UndocuBlack Network (UBN), Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), African Communities Together (ACT), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and African Bureau of Immigration & Social Affairs (ABISA)) acknowledge that the announcement of a wind-down of Title 42 is the result of the hard work of impacted communities, Black-led organizations and elected officials who championed around the issue.
While we welcome this announcement, we cannot fully celebrate until all expulsions have stopped and the right to asylum is fully restored for family units as well as single adults. We have witnessed the disproportionate harm Title 42 has inflicted on Black asylum seekers, including pregnant women, babies, and members of the LGBTQ community.
As Black immigrants, we are all too familiar with this country’s history of anti-Blackness within the immigration system. To that end, we urge the Biden-Harris administration to keep racial equity in mind as it implements the full termination of Title 42.
As some elected officials and states push to halt the termination of Title-42 through amendments and lawsuits, we urge the administration to commit to rebuilding the U.S. asylum system in a manner that does not disproportionately impact any particular demographic over others. With collaboration from service providers, immigrants’ rights groups at the border, and other institutions, this news should be followed by adequate access to language services, medical care, and legal counsel.
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.”
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