The disparate treatment simply cannot be ignored. Black lawmakers who this week continued to call on the Biden administration to terminate the debunked, Stephen Miller-backed Title 42 noted that thousands of Haitians have been deported back to conditions that the federal government itself has described as too unsafe for Americans.
Now DHS is reminding U.S. border officials they can exempt people from this policy, a power they have had since its inception. But when it comes to Haitian asylum-seekers, only about 14% of their humanitarian requests have been approved, VICE reports. Relatedly, the federal government has also used Title 42 to deport Venezuelans to Colombia, a policy slammed as “extremely disturbing” by Foreign Relations Committee Chair Robert Menendez.
"Where are those exemptions for Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan asylum-seekers, for asylum-seekers from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras?" Kizuka continued to CBS News.
The completely arbitrary and racist nature of this Stephen Miller order has been all the more blatant in recent days. While the administration has claimed that the policy is needed as a public health measure amid the pandemic, it has and continues to exclude unaccompanied children from the order. Shoppers have in recent months also been allowed to cross back and forth across land entry points for nonessential purposes.
Now the federal government is reiterating that certain groups can be granted exemptions from the order. Because clearly the virus can make these sort of distinctions if you take the federal government at its word that the order is needed to protect against the virus. But now even as a report has said that the administration is (correctly) considering ending the policy once and for all, anonymous officials have apparently gone to certain media to stoke fear and outrage:
“Amongst many things, the very people who cannot say on the record this is abt immigration enforcement (the US govt says its about public health) and who are tasked with preparing for this are more focused on blame-shifting as a way to keep Title 42 than preparing to end it,” tweeted Fwd.us President Todd Schulte.
Black lawmakers in their March 15 letter noted the contradiction of redesignating Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (an immigration provision that protects Haitian immigrants already here) following a deadly earthquake and civil unrest, yet still maintaining thousands of deportations to the small country.
“We are aware that you have asserted that Title 42 expulsions are necessary for the protection of public health,” Reps. Mondaire Jones and Ayanna Pressley wrote. “We share your commitment to protecting the health of each and every person in the United States, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is no reason to believe Title 42 expulsions actually protect anyone’s health.” They cite health experts and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials who have condemned the continued use of Title 42 as “scientifically baseless and politically motivated.”
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