Title 42 ends today

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Statement on the End of Title 42

Ending Title 42 Must Not Lead to Curtailment of Legal Pathways

We Need to Focus on Welcoming Asylum Seekers

UUSJ looks forward to the end of Title 42 today, Thursday, May 11, 2023. Title 42 has separated families and sent more than three million asylum seekers back to harm’s way.

In April of 2023, the Biden Administration announced “sweeping new actions to manage regional migration” (U.S. Dept. of State) ahead of May 11, 2023, when Title 42 is set to end as part of the expiration of the national COVID-19 public health emergency (DHS Fact Sheet, and HHS OIG flexibilities Ending). Please see UUSJ’s public comment opposing the proposed rule on “Circumvention of Legal Pathways” as a background to our statement of today.

UUSJ appreciates the goal being articulated in anticipation of an end to Title 42, of policies to expand and encourage legal migration and reduce the need for dangerous cross-continental journeys, perilous border crossings, and confusion and threatening conditions in border facilities and in nearby Mexican cities. At the same time, UUSJ is deeply troubled by those proposed policies that threaten to undermine access to asylum. This would seem too close to a curtailment of legal pathways.

“We at UUSJ have been unequivocal in our opposition to the use of Title 42 to limit access to asylum seekers. While we are pleased Title 42 is finally ending, we are deeply concerned that the policies announced to replace it are not an acceptable or humane alternative,” said Pablo DeJesús, Executive Director of Unitarian Universalists for Justice.

“Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to ‘respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person’ and that includes the belief that ‘no human being is illegal.’ Coupling new pathways toward legal status for too few, while arbitrarily barring other migrants from similar opportunities and also increasing deportations, and also adding new militarization at the border, is not an acceptable trade-off. That is too close to a systemic curtailment of legal pathways. We can, and must, do better. The United States can do better,” added DeJesús.

“The U.S. must comprehensively reform its immigration laws, policies, and practices. The goal should be to establish systems that honor the humanity of migrants and would-be migrants, treating them with respect. We should process their claims in a manner that efficiently considers their requests for asylum and other protections or benefits.”

“Our system should provide accessible pathways for citizenship to people who want to raise families and fully participate in our republic. We hold this can be best accomplished with community-based services and programs, organized around the principle of welcoming and caring for the vulnerable. Such a policy vision better aligns with our faith,” concluded DeJesús.

(See here for more on UUSJ’s immigration priorities.)

A Step You Can Take for Immigration Justice — Tell Congress to Protect the Dreamers Now!

DACA recipients (Dreamers) were all brought to the United States at an early age and have spent more than 15 years here—this is truly the only home they have. Act for the Dreamers now!

  • Their families are here—more than 1.3 million people live with a DACA recipient, including more than 300,000 U.S.-born children who have at least one parent with DACA.
  • They are an essential part of their communities—nearly 80% of DACA recipients are employed, and about half of those are in jobs deemed essential, including healthcare, education and childcare, and food production and processing.
  • They helped keep our country functioning during the pandemic!
  • Many polls show a substantial majority of registered voters (nearly 70% in some polls) favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Only Congress can provide permanent security for DACA recipients.

With last year’s DACA ruling, it is time for Congress to step up and pass legislation to protect Dreamers. (NIF).

Defend Dreamers with UUSJ – Take Action Now!