FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Press Contact: Jessica Ortiz, [email protected]
Largest Immigration Nonprofit in Texas Blasts Lawmakers for Craven and Cruel Attempts to Codify Title 42 and Undermine the Asylum Process
Texas – RAICES, the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas, is urging supporters to call Congressional Democrats to block all attempts to extend Title 42 and what the organization is calling the “Stephen Miller Bill,” a new legislative package attempting to codify Title 42 and undermine the asylum process. The bill was introduced by Senators Sinema and Lankford and cosponsored by Senator Cornyn and Texas’s own Reps. Cuellar and Gonzales.
“Title 42 is a cruel and racist Trump-era policy crafted by white nationalist Stephen Miller to prevent Black and Brown immigrants from seeking their legal right to asylum in the U.S.,” said Allen Morris, Policy and Government Affairs Strategist at RAICES. “This ‘Stephen Miller Bill’ is nothing but a cruel and craven homage to the racist right wing, politicizing access to asylum under the guise of public health and bipartisanship. The Democrats co-sponsoring this bill are allowing political propaganda to determine the bills they support and shamefully pandering to white supremacists by seeking to codify this xenophobic and deadly Trump-era policy.”
For 35 years, RAICES has worked at the Texas border to provide legal and social services, direct representation and litigation, and grassroots organizing and advocacy for immigrant clients. Unlike most representatives in Washington, RAICES has a wealth of knowledge rooted in the lived experiences of the clients it serves, and for two years has worked tirelessly to revoke Title 42 and combat the dangers and racist exclusions it brings.
Since its inception, Title 42 has fueled violence and chaos at the southern border, exposing vulnerable migrants to danger including physical violence, rape, and exploitation. Title 42 has also had a strikingly disparate impact on Black migrants seeking safety. Since President Biden took office, his administration has sent over 21,550 Haitians – including pregnant women, children, and babies – back to Haiti, more than any past president.
Last month, following the relentless advocacy of immigrants, activists, and lawyers, the Biden administration announced it would phase out Title 42 and end all expulsions under the policy by May 23. The Administration’s plan to rescind Title 42 is an important step toward rebuilding a more fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, starting with restoring access to asylum at the border.
However, the cruel and senseless legislative package being presented today aims to undermine President Biden and the CDC’s own scientific analysis, which found that the Title 42 expulsion policy is not necessary to protect public health. It will put asylum seekers, especially those who identify as Black and LGBTQIA(+), at continued risk, and threaten those most vulnerable who are fleeing from violence and persecution, as they will be forcibly removed from the U.S. without access to protection and flown back to dangerous conditions.
“It’s clear DHS has the ability to handle upticks in migration. Ukrainians have presented themselves at the U.S – Mexico border and were met with open arms ahead of their Black and brown counterparts,” continued Morris. “This hypocrisy and stark difference in treatment is evidence of Title 42’s purpose as a tool of racial discrimination – not public health. We at RAICES, along with communities across the border, remain ready to coordinate with the government to welcome all people seeking safety at our borders.”
RAICES is calling on Congress to protect those seeking safety at our border by rejecting calls to keep the cruel and immoral deployment of Title 42 in place, and voting against any legislation that will infringe on the asylum seekers’ rights. People fleeing danger in their home countries have the legal right to seek safety and protection in the United States.
RAICES is urging supporters to call Congressional Democrats to block all attempts to extend Title 42.
“We have the tools available to restore our asylum system and welcome people seeking safety with dignity and open arms,” said Morris. “Repealing Title 42 is not a question of public health or resources, it is simply the right and moral thing to do.”
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Learn more at Raicestexas.org