Last week, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a federal judge’s ruling that ordered the end of the Trump-era border policy known as Title 42. Immigration officials will now continue to turn away and swiftly expel asylum seekers at the U.S. – Mexico border.
The last-minute ruling was a cruel blow for the hundreds of migrant families who have been waiting for months to present their plea for U.S. asylum—while living under dire and dangerous conditions in Mexico. Asylum seekers blocked in or expelled to Mexico are daily exposed to gang violence and exploitation: Human Rights First has tracked over 13,480 reports of murder, torture, rape, kidnapping, and brutal attacks on migrants and asylum seekers since President Biden took office.
The Supreme Court ruling on Title 42 betrays well-established human rights law codified in the Immigration and Nationalities Act, it betrays who we are as a nation, and it most certainly betrays the most vulnerable among us.
Using an emergency public health policy as a mechanism to restrict lawful immigration—coupled with the failed attempt by Congress to include the policy in the latest omnibus spending bill—reveals a coordinated effort to violate the U.S. government’s alleged promise of refuge without discrimination.
Backdoor politics and xenophobic stunts come at the expense of real human beings. We of the ILJ Network strongly oppose the ruling by the Supreme Court and demand an absolute end to Title 42. Only then can we rebuild an asylum process that is just, equitable, and welcomes all people fleeing persecution with dignity and compassion.
Statements from our ILJ affiliates who serve border communities:
Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors (soon to be Immigration Law & Justice Arizona):
“We stand in solidarity with our advocates seeking justice long overdue. Title 42 should have never existed and needs to be stopped immediately. The extension of Title 42 continues delaying justice for many asylum seekers and putting their lives and families in danger.
“Title 42 continues to illegally keep people fleeing violence and persecution from seeking safety and legal protections. We will keep working with all entities to maintain our positions at our borders as ambassadors to support asylum seekers and their legal rights.”
Justice for Our Neighbors El Paso:
“We are disappointed at the extension of Title 42, which is arbitrary, discriminatory, and places migrants directly in harm’s way. With national and international attention focused now on our sister cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, we stand with those who seek to defend the right to asylum.
“We will continue to respond with humanity to the immediate needs of migrants, and to work towards a more just immigration system that reflects our highest values.”
Cover photo courtesy of Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Service.