For two years, under a policy known as Title 42, the US government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to close its southern border to asylum seekers. Last week, a federal judge blocked the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from terminating Title 42, which had been due to end on May 23rd. Title 42 leaves asylum seekers and migrants stranded in highly insecure conditions and often places them in situations of immediate danger.
Title 42 has nothing to do with health or with the pandemic. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 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. There is no excuse for continuing to misuse the order to turn away asylum seekers and block their right to seek protection. Title 42 should have been rescinded long ago.
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