As I was taking the time to reflect and digest upon the various opinions and views associated with President Joseph R. Biden Jr’s decision to lift Title 42. I decided that I would take the time to formulate an opinion / view to share.
Before we could either decide to agree, disagree, or remain neutral. It is a good idea to take a read or look over what Title 42 is. In simplistic terms code Title 42 is part of U.S. Health Law, Section 262. The legislation that was enacted to expel anyone arriving at America’s borders, who is considered as a health threat. In-particular the U.S. Southern border is of concern. Without receiving an interview as to why one is seeking asylum or migrating, migrants are turned away. This is also where we hear of remain in Mexico. The situations are more complex when we connect with separations at the border, and children that are held in facilities. With the lifting of this legislation that is intertwined with the Coronavirus health pandemic, policy, procedures, enacted in particular by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Biden Administration.
While I think that it is a positive to lift Title 42 with respect to migrants, refugees, asylum seekers or individuals who seek entry from an established port of entry. My focus of concern is not upon illegality because there are stringent, harsh processes, brutal and intrusive questioning processes for individuals who are seeking entry to the U.S. Everyone has a different circumstance, and are evaluated upon a case by case basis. But as I am aware of Border Security and Homeland Security, it is important to weave away those who are viewed as not permissible based on legitimate grounds. I also believe that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) should not take advantage of the vulnerable and abuse their power. To reveal the delicate balance that is needed to determine: who is admissible, human risk and human security. There are probably many other factors, and I do hope that DHS and CBP receive training and are able to request the help of appropriate professionals, should there be further needs for case analysis.
Given the vulnerability of individuals there are ideas associated with dignity that must be kept in mind, such as Welcome with Dignity. Furthermore to think about the legislation designed by U.S. Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar entitled as The Dignity Act. What makes this legislation important is that it considers the current undocumented that have been living in America for more than five years (Hussain, 2022). I wondered how the undocumented would feel, who have been living in America for years and years, even born in America, and do not have equal rights, as to those granted by Asylum seekers, migrants and American citizens by birth-right. Of-course the opportunity for migrants and asylum seekers are positive, given the prior points of concern, but to argue for the need to find solutions, pathways to citizenship and immigration for the current undocumented populations.
With regards to the recent letter that was sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from Florida Republican Senator Marco Antonio Rubio (R-FLA) to “rescind Title 42” (Rubio, 2022). I agree with the confusion that was stated to lift Title 42. There must be some kind of consistency between lifting Title 42, guidelines and recommendations from the CDC. The date to lift Title 42 is on May 23, with the Public Health Order that was released on April 1, 2022. This is the recommendation from the CDC to allow DHS time to implement appropriate COVID-19 protocols. I respect the concern of Senator M. Rubio (R-FLA), and I also think that there has to be a better way. Especially to screen migrants and asylum seekers for harm and human risk, as part of our duty and obligation to ensure the concern for human safety.
Migrants that are expelled at South America’s border are with deported to “Brazil, Central America, Columbia, Haiti and other countries in Latin America” (Montoya-Galvez, 2022). Enacting Title 42 could be viewed as unjust especially with the case of vulnerability and human risks involved. However, as mentioned Title 42 was recommended as part of the U.S. Health Law from the Department of Human and Health Services.
After consideration of these points, and of course anyone is welcome to contribute and suggest, we can think about the impact from the border shutdowns across the Globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this affected the Worldwide Refugee Crisis. To reveal the silent vulnerable who continue to suffer. And we are given the current example from Russia-Ukraine. Where physical destruction forces individuals to flee.
We are reminded of cycles of violence that repeat. Sometimes we stay in this level of sameness because we get comfortable and cope with what we have. On the contrary it takes courage to take a stand and say: we can do better, we can think about the human concern and human security as: synchronous.
It should also be noted that human rights advocates and groups have filed for lawsuits to end the Title 42 Border Order. “The American Civil Liberties Union, Texas Civil Rights Project, RAICES, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Oxfam, ACLU of Texas, and ACLU of the District of Columbia are suing to end the policy, which they say was improperly implemented and bars asylum seekers from the right to seek protections in the U.S. in violation of federal immigration law” (Hansen, 2021).
Hansen, C. (2021, August 02). ACLU, Other Groups Resume Lawsuit Seeking to End Title 42 Border Order. US News & World Report. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2021-08-02/aclu-other-groups-resume-lawsuit-against-biden-administration-seeking-to-end-title-42-border-order
Hussain, S. (2022, March 03). REFLECTION | STATE OF THE UNION PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS! Heart’s, Forever. https://hearts-forever.com/2022/03/04/reflection-state-of-the-union-presidential-address/
Montoya-Galvez, C. (2022, April 05). What is Title 42, the COVID-19 border policy set to end in late May? CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/title-42-immigration-border-biden-covid-19-cdc/
Rubio, M. A. (2022. April 07) Rubio, Tillis, Colleagues Urge Biden Administration to Extend Title 42. Marco Rubio US Senator For Florida. https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=9EA915AF-EB3B-42E4-AE1A-292B543E1721
Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on April 10. 2022.
With Love & Kindness! 🙂