President Biden Restore Asylum, End Title 42 and Migration Protection Protocols!
As people of faith, we stand together to call on the Biden Administration to end its racist Title 42 policy and its dehumanizing Remain in Mexico policy (aka Migration Protection Protocols- MPP), and fully restore access to asylum. Title 42 is a continuation of a Trump Administration policy which uses COVID-19 as justification to close the U.S. border to nearly all individuals seeking asylum. Invocation of this obscure public health policy on introduction of communicable diseases into the U.S. is being used as a false premise for stripping the US long guaranteed right to seek asylum. MPP continues to put migrants at undue risk forcing them to wait on the border while their asylum claim is being considered if at all. As people of faith, we stand in solidarity with our migrant siblings and demand more just immigration policies that acknowledge and support the full human dignity of all persons.
People like Lisandro are waiting at the board and continue to be denied entry and access to the asylum process. During a press conference with the Kino Border Initiative, Lisandro shared about his experience: “Just an hour ago I tried with my family to request for asylum at the [DeConcini] port of entry. Well, I arrived and presented my proof of vaccination. I already have the vaccine. And the CBP agent did not tell me anything…They sent for a higher-ranking police officer. He told me his name and told me that at the moment he could not grant asylum, that there is no asylum for us. That he only opened the border for tourists who carry passports and visas. Not us, they could not give us asylum because there wasn’t [a process]. From my perspective, I see it as a racist policy, really…It is my right to ask for asylum...They [need] to put on shoes so they can see what it feels like to be here. [To] be suffering. Be humiliated. Being attacked. And then being threatened by the mafia. No more, no.”
Lisandro’s experience is shared by many other migrants’ seeking asylum. His story and so many others compel us to act and stand in solidarity with Lisandro and all other migrants seeking asylum. Bishop Dorsonville auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in October of 2021: “While Catholic social teaching affirms a sovereign nation’s right to regulate its borders, the Church’s commitment to the sanctity of human life transcends these boundaries. It is possible to maintain borders with justice and mercy. And let us not forget the reciprocal gifts of migration, especially as we benefit daily from the labors of immigrants, past and present. We must work toward an immigration system that better promotes human dignity, not only for the benefit of those seeking protection but for the common good, upon which we all depend.” Compelled by our commitment to creating a more just world, we stand in solidarity with our siblings seeking asylum to the United States.
We urge President Biden to rescind Title 42 and MPP, and fully restore access to asylum. The continuation of these policies continues to strip the human right & dignity of all of those waiting at the border, putting their lives in unnecessary danger, and placing undue burden on humanitarian aid organizations along the border.