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Citing concerns over the new Omicron variant, today officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an extension to Title 42, a clause in public health law that the Biden and Trump administrations have misused to expel hundreds of thousands of individuals and families arriving at U.S. borders.

Responding to this news, Amy Fischer, Americas Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA, said:

“Public health advocates, including former officials from the CDC, have long contended that Title 42 has no public health rationale. Instead, it serves as a politically-motivated tool, using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize COVID-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers.

“The extension of this egregious policy, in conjunction with the decision to re-implement and expand the heinous Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, creates a reality where migrants are virtually cut off to all avenues to asylum. Black migrants are particularly vulnerable to expulsion under these policies and, combined with the decision to expand MPP to newly include Haiti and other Caribbean countries, these policies underscore the anti-Black racism that is endemic within our immigration system.

“President Biden promised that in his first 100 days as president, he would end the Trump administration’s detrimental asylum policies and ‘ensure that the U.S. remains open and welcoming to people from every part of the world.’ Now, over 300 days since President Biden’s inauguration, asylum-seekers are endangered by the very policies he pledged to end on the campaign trail.

“People in search of safety need access to asylum without delay. The Biden administration must stop failing asylum-seekers and restore access to asylum by ending Title 42 and MPP now.”

Contact: Gabby Arias, [email protected]