Go to WRC in the News library
WRC in the News

Ending Title 42 is the right and legal thing for the United States

In a letter to the editor in The Washington Post, Katharina Obser, WRC’s director of Migrant Rights and Justice, responds to an April 13 op-ed, “Biden to turn border crisis into a total catastrophe.”

With respect, it was breathtaking how much Marc A. Thiessen’s April 13 op-ed, “Biden to turn border crisis into a total catastrophe,” mistook Trump-era “public health” policy for border security, conflated families fleeing for their lives with fentanyl crossing the U.S. border and carelessly suggested that returning to normal asylum processing means Wild West open borders.

Seeking asylum is a right guaranteed under U.S. and international law. Ending Title 42 — a policy that weaponizes public health law to shut down the U.S. asylum system, which has been long decried by public health experts — simply means that people fleeing danger can once again exercise their right to apply for protection. It is policies such as Title 42, rather than the act of seeking asylum itself, that cause harm and catastrophe at our border. Title 42 has artificially inflated apprehension numbers because those expelled are left with no choice but to try again and again to seek safety.

Let’s remember that Poland, a country smaller than the state of New Mexico, just took in 2 million refugees in one month. The United States can certainly ensure a fair and orderly asylum system to welcome people with dignity. It’s the right — and legal — thing to do.

Katharina Obser, Washington