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Women’s Refugee Commission Celebrates Federal Court Striking Down Title 42 Expulsion Policy, Urges Biden Administration to Restore Access to Asylum

Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, U.S. Judge Emmet Sullivan vacated the Title 42 policy in Huisha Huisha v. Mayorkas. Since March 2020, Title 42 has been used to summarily expel migrants to Mexico or the very home countries they fled without the ability to seek asylum. Under the policy, the U.S. has expelled people more than two million times — resulting in horrific violence, racism, and desperation.

In response, Kimiko Hirota, policy advisor for the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, stated:

“Title 42 is a xenophobic, racist effort to deny Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other vulnerable people their right to seek protection from persecution. The policy weaponized the COVID-19 pandemic and repeated the United States’ ugly, centuries-old history of blaming foreigners for disease. Since its inception, medical officials confirmed that Title 42 was irrelevant to public health.

“Today, it is clearer than ever that a public health law was illegally used — millions of times — to cut off access to asylum. For two years, under the order, we have witnessed chaotic border management, unfair treatment, and widespread cruelty for thousands of people seeking protection. This ruling strengthens the mandate for the Biden administration to live up to its promise and make the United States a safe haven for individuals seeking asylum.

“We commend the ACLU, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Oxfam America, RAICES, Texas Civil Rights Project, and the brave families who fought to restore their right to seek asylum through this litigation. Now, we urge the Biden administration to ensure that people can apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, including at ports of entry. It is past time to invest in a fair, humane asylum system, and we stand ready to welcome with dignity.”