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The organization called the rule damaging and harmful
Elizabeth Sweet is the director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. On April 4, she issued a statement in response to the Biden administration’s decision to end an anti-refugee border policy known as Title 42. Her declaration is printed below:
“We are thrilled that the Biden administration will end another hurtful border restriction next month. The unjust policy, known as Title 42, allowed U.S. Border Patrol agents to deport migrants seeking asylum here without having to actually consider asylum claims. Implemented by the Trump administration but continued by President Biden, the use of Title 42 has led to at least 1.7 million deportations – 1.2 million of which took place during the Biden administration. Use of Title 42 clashed with U.S. and international law, which allows all migrants the right to apply for asylum in the U.S.
“Haitian migrants who sought refuge in America as political instability and natural disaster tore their homeland apart were disproportionately hurt by this wrong-headed rule. Instead of offering refugees even the chance to apply for asylum, tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of Haitian migrants were turned away without hope. Instances of Border Patrol agents abusing Haitian migrants quickly became public, further reaffirming the inhumane, racist nature of the Title 42 policy.
“While two years of Title 42 is two years too many, we are at least glad to see the Biden administration move to end this policy. The MIRA Coalition opposes any and all efforts to reinstitute Title 42 after it expires in May. Instead, the administration has a duty to ensure America serves again as a beacon of hope for refugees around the world; a place they should not only seek to call home, but a place they should be able to call home.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.