Title 42 has prevented asylum seekers from reaching safety since March 2020, and will continue to do so for, at least, months to come. Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay request designed by restrictionist states to prevent the functioning of the U.S. asylum system. Though the Supreme Court sets a narrow question for review — asking when such intervention by states on federal immigration policy matters is permissible — the repercussions are broad and far-reaching.
National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy responded with the following statement:
“For three years Title 42 has been used as a weapon to separate parents from their children and turn back people fleeing violence to face compounding trauma in Mexico. As the dissent acknowledges, the COVID-19 pandemic does not require sealing the United States-Mexico border, and indeed Title 42 was only ever deployed to prevent Black and Brown asylum seekers from exercising the lawful right to seek asylum.
“NIJC laments today’s decision and grieves the continued loss of life and safety it portends. And as Justice Gorsuch stated in his dissent, we are concerned about the Supreme Court justices becoming ‘policy makers of last resort.’ The ongoing trend of state intervention, led by states like Arizona and Texas, on immigration policy has made the difficult task of bringing order and humanity to the southern border even more challenging. We once again call on the Biden administration to take seriously its responsibility to asylum seekers, to devote resources and expertise to building a sustainable and coordinated system of welcoming and respite at the border, and to implement the recommendations repeatedly offered by NIJC and other human rights organizations to establish meaningful paths to protection in the United States.”