The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Denounces the Expansion of Title 42

On October 12th, the Biden administration announced the creation of a program that would grant humanitarian parole to 24,000 Venezuelans if they meet a certain criteria. Other Venezuelans deemed ineligible for the program would be processed under Title 42 and returned to Mexico – an expansion of the initial program.

NNIRR condemns any effort to expand and continue expulsions under Title 42. Title 42 is a racist law that has been implemented since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to turn away people asking for protection at the border. We urge the administration to immediately end all expansions and expulsions under this senseless policy. Punitive policies, like Title 42, continue to have a detrimental and often lethal impact on the lives of those seeking protection and undermine our international obligations to protect those fleeing harm and persecution and deny the reality of forced migration.

While the program will offer lifesaving protection to a selected few, millions of Venezuelans and others will continue to be processed under Title 42 deserve the same right. Asylum is the most important international mechanism for people seeking safety, and the administration’s decision to expand the program is a failure of its commitment to international human rights. This move is placing asylum-seekers as they wait in overcrowded shelters or the dangerous streets in Mexico or force them to take dangerous routes and measures that often lead to the death of migrants in the U.S. borderlands.

The United States only hosts a minor fraction of all refugees in the region. Countries like Colombia, host more than 4 million Venezuelan refugees and have implemented crucial human rights-centered cross-border initiatives to govern migration migration flows and the U.S. should take notice. We call on the administration to uphold the right to asylum and take principled human rights leadership at this critical moment. We will continue to organize with our communities and allies to promote a human rights framework to border governance and demand accountability from the administration and our lawmakers.