US: "Title 42 should have been rescinded long ago"

MSF statement on court decision blocking the end of Title 42.

Amanda Maribel Sánchez, 28, fled Copan and Lempira, Honduras, seeking asylum for herself and her two children.

Mexico 2022 © Yesika Ocampo/MSF

A federal judge has blocked the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from ending Title 42, a public health order that has been misused during the COVID-19 pandemic to effectively close the US southern border to asylum seekers.

The CDC had issued a decision to terminate the order on May 23.  Today’s judicial ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed in April by lawyers representing 24 states seeking to block the Biden administration from ending Title 42. Since March 2020, Title 42 has been used to authorize more than 1.9 million expulsions from the US.

Gemma Dominguez, general coordinator of MSF projects in Mexico, provided the following statement:

"As a medical humanitarian organization, we condemn the manipulation of public health concerns to block the fundamental right to seek asylum. The only point of maintaining Title 42 is to allow for the mass expulsion of asylum seekers without due legal process from the US back to Mexico. Title 42 leaves asylum seekers and migrants stranded in highly insecure conditions and often places them in situations of immediate danger. Our medical teams witness the impacts of this cruel policy, which has severe and damaging consequences on the physical and mental health of people forced to flee.

Title 42 should have been rescinded long ago. Now we see judicial authorities and politicians weaponizing a public health order to drive out people seeking protection in the US. We have said it before and we say it again: Title 42 has nothing to do with health or with the pandemic. This and all other inhumane migration policies must end. The US and Mexico must work together to build a safe and humane migration policy that protects vulnerable people."