New York, NY, April 1, 2022 — Today, the IRC celebrates the end of Title 42, a policy which denied asylum seekers their legal right to seek safety in the United States, with 1.7 million expulsions since March 2020.
The IRC has seen the negative impacts of Title 42 firsthand through work in the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America. Based on those observations, the IRC earlier this year released Protection Denied, a report with policy recommendations to ensure a safe, orderly, and humane asylum process in the United States, including a call to end Title 42.
With the termination of Title 42, the IRC renews the call on the Biden Administration to take further action to end border externalization policies that put asylum-seekers at risk, and to invest in capacity to welcome asylum-seekers in the U.S..
Olga Byrne, Director of Asylum and Immigration Legal Services at the International Rescue Committee, said:
“We welcome the news of the end of Title 42. For over two years, this harmful policy deprived thousands of asylum seekers of due process, sending them back to dangerous conditions, similar if not worse to those they escaped in Mexico, northern Central America, Haiti and other countries.
“Under international and domestic law, people in need of protection have the right to seek asylum in the United States. As conflict has escalated in recent months around the world, the U.S. honored this right to seek safety, offering alternatives for people from countries like Afghanistan and Ukraine. But other crises cannot be neglected and the termination of Title 42 gives hope that asylum seekers from other parts of the world will have the same opportunity to search for safety in the U.S. The country’s asylum and refugee resettlement systems must provide viable pathways to safety for all people fleeing harm, regardless of their country of origin, race, religion, color or creed.
“The termination of Title 42 is a key first step in ensuring people fleeing violence and persecution can exercise their legal right to seek safety in the U.S. Beyond Title 42, we call on the Biden Administration to take further necessary and urgent action to immediately expand capacity at the southern border to process people in a humane and dignified manner, and invest in community capacity to welcome, including through community-based shelters at the southern border.”