The decision on 20 May by a US judge to block the termination of Title 42 is an affront to the human rights of people in search of safety throughout the Americas region, said Amnesty International today.

Since the implementation of Title 42 in March 2020 – a measure initially created by the Trump administration under the pretext of COVID-19 that authorizes expulsions without screenings or asylum protection – tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been expelled to the countries from which they fled. In conjunction with the Remain in Mexico policy – a policy under which the US government forcibly returned people to Mexico while awaiting an asylum claim in the US – asylum seekers have been left stranded in camps along the US/Mexico border where they are in extraordinary danger, and potentially further pushed into harm’s way.

“Title 42 expulsions have always been a xenophobic policy thinly disguised as a public health measure. The decision to halt its termination is a devastating blow to human rights in the Americas and will put countless lives at risk, in violation of US law and international law. It sends a message to governments across the Americas that the United States has total disregard for the human right to seek asylum, setting a shamefully bad example in the protection of the rights of people in search of safety. While the Biden Administration continues the fight to end Title 42 in the courts once and for all, the US Congress must block any proposed legislation that would either delay termination or make Title 42 expulsions permanent,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

States in the Americas should engage in international cooperation to effectively and concretely respect human rights in the asylum process of each state, and to remove determinants that have pushed people into displacement.

Amnesty International has published extensive research about the impact of Title 42 on different groups of people in need of international protection:

Impact of Title 42 on Haitian Migrants

In December 2021, in conjunction with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, the Groupe d’Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (GARR), Refugees International, Rezo Fwotalye Jano Siksè and Service Jésuite aux Migrants Haiti, Amnesty International published information about the risks Haitians face when expelled under Title 42.


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