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USA: Biden administration must reverse decision to expand Title 42

In response to the Biden Administration’s announcement about a new process for Venezeulans seeking safety, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said,

“Within days of the Interagency Coordination for Refugees and Migrants R4V revealing that there are 7.1 million Venezuelans seeking international protection, the Biden administration shamefully announced a new plan to block access to asylum for Venezuelans seeking safety at the US border. While we acknowledge the important step taken by the Biden administration in the creation of a new parole program for 24,000 Venezuelans, we are greatly alarmed at the expansion of the application of Title 42. This new policy aimed at stopping Venezuelans from seeking safety at the border is again demonstrating that Title 42 has no basis in public health and runs contrary to US and international obligations to uphold the rights of all to seek safety. All people have a right to seek safety, regardless of familial or financial ties, and any parole program should not supplant the right to seek asylum.

“We are also concerned with media reports that the Title 42 expansion is due to also include nationals of Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua. Last month, Amnesty International released a groundbreaking report finding that Haitians expelled under Title 42 were subject to arbitrary detention and discriminatory and humiliating ill-treatment that amounts to race-based torture. We urge the Biden administration to reconsider this and to instead work diligently to put an end to Title 42, not to expand it. Eradicating this deadly policy is a critical first step towards restoring asylum and preserving the human rights of asylum seekers; anything else is a band-aid that is not solving the issues at hand.”