Since the onset of the pandemic, thousands of people seeking safety in the U.S. have been met with callous cruelty under Title 42, a Trump-era policy which has twisted public health laws to block and expel asylum seekers arriving at the border. 

The Biden Administration continues to use the pandemic as a pretext to expel people seeking safety to danger, despite the objections of public health experts and top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s past time to speak out–we must be a country that meets people with compassion and treats them humanely.



Write or call Congress to demand they end Title 42 expulsions and restart asylum
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Title 42 is a measure activated by the Trump administration to limit travel across US borders, supposedly to limit the spread of COVID-19.  In practice, this has meant that US border authorities were instructed to turn away people seeking asylum in the US, in a breach of international asylum norms.  The Biden administration has maintained this practice, although it now makes exceptions for children.


No. The Trump administration’s use of Title 42 was initially resisted by CDC officials in 2020 (1) and has been decried by public health experts for being an anti-immigration measure disguised as a public health measure. Title 42 is premised on the argument that asylum seekers will overcrowd US processing facilities and spread COVID-19; health experts point out that asylum seekers could be paroled into the US while their cases are processed, avoiding long stays in those facilities in the first place (2).

“Trump got his wall – it’s called Title 42”

Title 42 has been an effective tool to make the asylum process even more difficult and miserable for asylum seekers.  The Biden administration’s decision to lift Title 42 restrictions on minors but not their families forces many children to navigate the complicated and traumatic process of winning asylum alone, with very little help and often while confined to subpar living conditions in emergency facilities (3). And Title 42-based expulsions of Haitian asylum seekers to Mexico leaves Haitians vulnerable to antiblack discrimination and without assistance in their native language (4).


The Biden administration continues to wield Title 42 against asylum seekers to this day. The ACLU and immigrant rights organizations are currently reigniting a lawsuit against the Biden government that was originally begun during the Trump administration, demonstrating the distressing continuity between the two administrations (5). Says Lee Gelernt of the ACLU regarding the Biden administration’s inaction: “We gave them more than sufficient time. Title 42 is still in place.” (5)