“While we support ending Title 42, waiting any longer before starting to process migrants with asylum claims will only allow smugglers to exploit even more vulnerable people and increase operational challenges at the border,” said New Jersey Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker.
They noted that U.S. border officials have made exemptions for Ukrainian families who have fled the Russian invasion. “Many of our Cuban, Haitian, Venezuelan, Colombian, and Nicaraguan brothers and sisters, along with others in this hemisphere, face direct and immediate threats to their lives,” they continued. “They are deserving of international protection considerations.”
Borderland advocates said that they’re ready to welcome asylum-seekers as others urged the Biden administration to end the order without relying on mass immigration detention.
“Our community in Arizona is welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers; it has been for many years,” Their Story is Our Story Assistant Director of Advocacy Christy Bishop said in a National Partnership for New Americans coalition statement received by Daily Kos. “We are preparing to provide humanitarian aid once Title 42 is lifted and look forward to restoring the human right to seek asylum.”
Detention Watch Network Advocacy Director Setareh Ghandehari reminded that many people coming to our border in search of safety already have family ties here. “For those without support structures in place, community groups and advocates in the border region have been coordinating resources to welcome migrants arriving to the U.S. for years,” she continued in a statement received by Daily Kos. “Communities are prepared to welcome new members and respond.”
“Of course Republicans continue using this issue as political football and are attacking the news of the upcoming end of Title 42,” America’s Voice Deputy Director Vanessa Cárdenas said. Miller issued a tweet that claimed that restoring U.S. asylum rights “will mean armageddon.” He continued on to say that “this is how nations end.” If Miller is this pissed off and dramatic, it’s fair to say you’ve done something right. The fact is that Title 42 was a racist scheme implemented against the advice of public health experts that just about shut down our asylum system. We should be looking at the day it ends as a very good day.
But it’s not like a lot of the mainstream reporting has been much better when it comes to the racist rhetoric. “Open U.S. doors to Ukrainian refugees—now,” The Washington Post declared in a March 16 editorial. But just two weeks later, following the Title 42 termination date announcement, that same outlet published an editorial claiming that “a migrant surge is coming at the border.”
“The words FLOOD and SURGE Have never been used to label Ukrainian refugees,” Emmy-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa tweeted. “They are seen as human and rightfully so, desperate. This kind of racism it’s disgusting. But it’s everywhere. Open your eyes and call it out.” Meanwhile, the only GOP plan is to keep Title 42 in place as an immigration enforcement mechanism, continuing to give away the open secret that this policy has always been about blocking vulnerable people from safety, and not about public health.
“Reforming our immigration system is not easy,” Cárdenas continued. “And Republican obstructionism has thwarted the strong public support for action. But we can manage migration effectively, protect refugees who need protection, and govern our border with both order and justice.”
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