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SPLC: Continued Use of Title 42 Unacceptable; Mass Expulsions Must End

WASHINGTON, D.C. – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki today said the administration would continue to expel migrants at the border, signaling that the administration would continue expulsions under Title 42, pursuant to a CDC order invoked by the Trump administration. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have been expelled and will continue to be expelled without due process as a result of Title 42. 

The following statement is from Efrén Olivares, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project.

“The invocation of Title 42 was a thinly-veiled bigoted and xenophobic action that has achieved its goal of cutting off access to asylum for thousands, cloaked in the pretense of protecting public health. This policy has been roundly denounced by public health experts, including CDC scientists, as both unnecessary and ineffective. The continued use of this policy is indefensible.

“Moreover, expulsions under Title 42 are flatly contrary to the administration’s stated mission of undoing the damage caused by the previous administration and creating a welcoming, fair and humane immigration system. The administration must stop the expulsions, which are actively harming immigrants, preventing family reunification, and sending people seeking asylum back into harm’s way.”

BACKGROUND

Under the pretense of protecting public health, the previous administration invoked an obscure provision of Title 42 to authorize Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to summarily expel migrants who are apprehended between ports of entry or who present themselves at ports of entry without documentation. By using the pandemic as an excuse to effectively shut down access to asylum at the border, the government has misused Title 42 to expel hundreds of thousands of people, including children, from the country without due process. These expulsions continue daily.