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This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indefinitely extended Title 42, a policy that effectively prevents all asylum seekers from  requesting protection at the U.S. border, in violation of domestic and international law. The decision marks a calamitous reversal of the Biden Administration’s previous openness to phasing out the inhumane policy for families. The extension also follows a July 26 announcement that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will fast-track deportations for some migrant families through expedited removal, which will prevent them from having their claims heard by an immigration judge. 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is extremely disappointed by the extension of the harmful and illegal Title 42 policy and urges the Administration to recommit to upholding asylum law by allowing all asylum seekers to request protection without the threat of immediate expulsion or expedited removal.

“The Biden Administration’s decisions to extend Title 42 and fast-track deportations are a continuation of xenophobic and often illegal Trump-era policies that put migrant families in danger,” said Carmen Maria Rey, U.S. Legal Director of IRAP. “Seeking asylum is a human right, and the Administration should not continue to use a Trump policy of dubious public health-value to bypass its international and domestic obligations. Under Title 42, tens of thousands of migrants have already been expelled to life-threatening conditions in Mexico; expedited removal will place even more in harm’s way. Together, these decisions fly in the face of the Administration’s pledged commitment to restoring a humane asylum system and should be reversed immediately.”

IRAP calls on the Biden Administration to immediately restart full access to asylum protections at the U.S. southern border for those fleeing violence and persecution.