Congresswoman Wilson Applauds End to Title 42, Urges Congress to Work on Bipartisan Solutions to Ensure Border Safety
Washington, May 12, 2023
Today, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) issued the following statement regarding the end of the COVID-19-era policy, Title 42:
"Since Title 42's establishment under the Trump administration, this policy has forcibly turned away countless asylum seekers in search of a better and safe life for their families. With Title 42’s expiration, I am relieved to see the immediate end of its cruel policies on deportation and its unjust restrictions on vulnerable migrants like Haitian nationals seeking asylum.
"Despite Haiti being among one of the most unstable countries in the world, it was unconscionable that the United States could deport individuals back to this country knowing the economic and humanitarian crisis conditions that persist. I am still outraged by the images of border patrol agents using whips to corral and chase Haitian migrants at the border.
"All migrants are human beings; they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The end of Title 42 is an essential step in ensuring our country's legal obligations to address migrants' protection claims humanely without leaving them with no options after having made the dangerous journey to the border. Due process and asylum are bedrock principles that should not be violated.
"I urge my colleagues in Congress to come together to expand legal pathways and recognize the need to establish a robust refugee process critical to a secure, humane, and fair process at the southern border. We must work to bring about meaningful, bipartisan solutions that restore dignity to our immigration system."
Background: Congresswoman Wilson represents one of the largest and most ethnically diverse districts and one of the largest Haitian American communities in the country. She has long criticized the use of the pandemic-era Title 42 policy, which allows border officials to deport migrants without providing them the opportunity to declare asylum. In December 2020, Congresswoman Wilson filed the Haitian Deportation Relief Act, which calls for the suspension of deportations of Haitian nationals until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended in both the United States and Haiti. Since President Biden took office, she has urged the suspension of this policy due to the large number of Haitian asylum seekers being turned away and deported back to Haiti despite the dire economic and humanitarian conditions. In February of 2021, Wilson led a letter of over 60 members of Congress to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, calling for an end to Title 42 expulsion. In April of 2022, she led a press conference alongside Haitian officials, immigration rights groups, and South Florida's Haitian diaspora advocating for the policy's removal.