FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2022
firstname.lastname@example.org; (602) 795-7407
Gia Del Pino
Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project and the Kino Border Initiative Welcome Court Decision Vacating Title 42
On Tuesday, a federal judge vacated the Title 42 border closure policy, which for nearly three years has allowed immigration authorities to summarily expel people seeking asylum from the United States, under an archaic public health law. The Florence Project and the Kino Border Initiative celebrate this major victory for the people we serve and all those seeking protection in the United States. This decision affirms what we’ve known for the past two-plus years: that there has never been a public health justification for Title 42.
Over the last two-plus years, Title 42 has barred thousands of people from exercising their right to seek protection in the United States, forcing them to wait indefinitely in dangerous conditions in Mexican border communities or expelling them back to the very persecution and dangers they have fled.
“Title 42 has caused catastrophic harm to thousands of people who sought safety in the United States,” said Laura St. John, Florence Project Legal Director. “For years, the federal government has illegally and inhumanely used Title 42 in an unsuccessful attempt to manage and mitigate migration and to keep Black and brown migrants from accessing protection in the U.S. We have stood in opposition to this policy since its inception and call on the Biden administration to heed the court order and begin regular asylum processing immediately.”
“Yesterday I watched the news and felt great joy for my children and for me,” said Elena*, a mother from Mexico seeking asylum with her children. “If they remove Title 42, it will benefit all the migrants who are here without work, living in the streets, and in danger. Since I left my town, I have felt danger and so do my children. Here in Nogales, they already robbed me. They already tried to take my child from me. I am waiting for the government’s response.”
“Yesterday’s court decision is fruit not only of the work of the organizations who brought this lawsuit but also countless people and families seeking safety who have had the courage to share their stories and struggle for respect for their rights and dignity,” said Joanna Williams, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative. “We are confident that we can come together as communities and a society to provide welcome and a just process for people who have been stranded at the border by Title 42 and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to stretch our capacity to love our neighbors.”
As we celebrate this major victory, the Florence Project and the Kino Border Initiative urge the Biden administration to keep their initial promise to end Title 42 and act on this decision without further appeal. We stand in solidarity with everyone seeking safety in the United States, especially those who suffered tremendous harm and even lost their lives due to Title 42. We will continue to advocate for all those who seek protection in the United States and for the full restoration of our asylum system.