The Expanded Use of Title 42 Places More Migrants and Asylum Seekers in Harm’s Way

By USCRI October 13, 2022

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 12, 2022, that it will expel Venezuelans entering without authorization at the southern border to Mexico through the use of Title 42, an obscure provision of public health law that allows border officials to rapidly expel asylum seekers and migrants to Mexico or their home country without due process.

DHS also announced that it will be creating a new process to bring up to 24,000 eligible Venezuelans to the country, a small number compared to the over 150,000 Venezuelans who were encountered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Fiscal Year 2022. Since it was implemented under the Trump Administration in 2020, more than two million asylum seekers have been expelled from the U.S under Title 42.

While USCRI welcomes the creation of a safe pathway to bring some Venezuelans to the United States, we are extremely concerned about the continued and expanded use of Title 42, which precludes the right to seek asylum. Additionally, the number of Venezuelans who will be admitted under the parole program is limited and cumbersome to the applicant. Over six million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2014 on account of political and humanitarian crises.

“It’s deeply concerning that this administration is attempting to expand the use of Title 42,” USCRI President and CEO Eskinder Negash said. “This decision will create greater uncertainty and continue to harm migrants fleeing persecution.”

In April, USCRI staff visited the U.S.-Mexico border and witnessed the disparate impact of Title 42 on migrants and asylum seekers. Under Title 42, Mexico already accepts U.S. expulsions of migrants and asylum seekers from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The United States, in addition to the expansion of Title 42, is also increasing its use of temporary parole, most recently for Ukrainians and Afghans. With this limited parole program for Venezuela, it is clear that the use of parole is inconsistent across populations.

USCRI, founded in 1911, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit international organization committed to working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and their transition to a dignified life.

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