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Wilson, Meeks, Jayapal, and Thompson Lead More Than 60 Members of Congress Calling for an End to Title 42 Expulsions

February 23, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), and Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2) sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling on him to end the practice of summarily expelling migrants under Title 42 of the Public Health Services Act as soon as practicable and to employ alternative forms of humanitarian relief for detainees subject to deportation for the remainder of the pandemic.

 

In March, the Trump administration began misusing Title 42 to effectively shut down access to our asylum system. That practice has continued, and in the case of deportation flights to some countries, increased. Nearly 1,000 migrants have been sent to Haiti this month alone, including a two-month-old baby and at least 21 other children, even though the country is enmeshed in a constitutional crisis and lacks the health infrastructure to contend with the pandemic.

 

“We write out of deep concern about continued Title 42 expulsions and deportations that have taken place in recent weeks, seemingly regardless of whether these migrants meet priorities for removals,” the letter reads. “In many cases these deportees are families and children who likely pose no security threat. The Trump administration misused Title 42 to summarily expel hundreds of thousands of migrants while denying them due process and access to the asylum system in contravention of international legal obligations.”

 

“The Biden administration need not and should not leave this to the courts. You have the power to halt these expulsions by repealing the Title 42 order, and you should use it as soon as practicable. Expulsions under Title 42 actually endanger public health, including the health of enforcement officers and migrants. Many migrants are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19 while being detained in the United States pending their expulsion or deportation to less-resourced countries with severely strained health systems.”

 

The letter was signed by Representatives Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), Cori Bush (MO-01), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), André Carson (IN-07), Judy Chu (CA-27), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Val Demings (FL10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lloyd Doggett (D-35), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Jahana Hayes(CT-05), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Levin (MI-09), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Doris Matsui (CA-06), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ( NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Jan Schakowsky ( IL-09), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Adam Smith (WA-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Bonnie Watson Coleman, (NJ-12) and Peter Welch (VT-AL).

More than 20 immigrant and human rights and social justice organizations have endorsed the letter, including Alianza Americas, Amnesty International USA, American Friends Service Committee, Angry Tias and Abuelas of the RGV, Center for Victims of Torture, Church World Service, The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Haitian Bridge Alliance, HIAS, Human Rights First, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Kids in Need of Defense, Latin America Working Group, National Immigrant Justice Center, The National Immigration Project, Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Oxfam, Project Blueprint, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, and Witness at the Border.

 

For the full letter, click here.

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