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WRC responds to Biden administration decision to terminate Title 42 expulsions for unaccompanied children

Washington, D.C. – Late on Friday, March 11, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an announcement terminating the use of Title 42 for unaccompanied children. In response, Katharina Obser, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

“The Women’s Refugee Commission is glad that the Biden administration has terminated the Title 42 order as it relates to unaccompanied children, especially moments before a Texas court order stopping the current practice of exempting them from Title 42 was to take effect.

“But continuing to subject adults and families with children to the same cruelties and rights violations defies logic and perpetuates the policy’s profound harm. The Biden administration must reject this Trump-era policy and also immediately terminate expulsions under Title 42 for everyone, including all adults and families, once and for all. We all witnessed the horrors of unaccompanied children traumatized by prolonged custody stays and expulsion to harm and danger under the Trump administration’s indiscriminate use of the policy, and not one more unaccompanied child should face expulsion. Yet the horrors caused by Title 42 still exist for so many others. That the Biden administration continues to leave the policy in place – a policy whose dubious public health justification has long been decried by medical experts – for any population is unconscionable.

“The administration should listen to the numerous Senators and Members of Congress who have been outspoken in the past week in calling for Title 42 to end. Everyone, no matter their age or country of origin, has the right under U.S. and international law to seek asylum in the United States, including at ports of entry. As we near the two-year mark of this policy, which is driven by xenophobia rather than science, WRC continues to stand ready to help turn the page and build a just, orderly, and welcoming asylum system that respects the law.”