For Immediate Release: September 22, 2021
Contact: Colleen Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-601-7877
Catholic Lobby Condemns Mass Deportation of Haitian Asylum Seekers, Calls for End to Title 42
Mary J. Novak: “The continued misuse of Title 42 relies on the false idea that we have to choose between welcoming people fleeing violence and protecting communities from the pandemic.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite political unrest and recent natural disasters in Haiti, the Biden administration is forcibly removing and sending several deportation flights of asylum seekers back to devastating conditions in their home country. The Biden administration’s misuse of Title 42 to expel asylum seekers puts all expelled immigrants, especially Black immigrants, in grave danger.
Images of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers on horseback abusing Haitian asylum seekers in Texas illustrate the inhumane and dangerous conditions at the border. This horrific treatment of Haitian immigrants is not an isolated incident. There is a clear, systemic culture of abuse at CBP, especially towards Black asylum seekers. NETWORK repeats its call for the Biden administration to end the use of Title 42 and enforce oversight of CBP.
Ronnate Asirwatham, Government Relations Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:
“When immigrants and asylum seekers are denied due process, their humanity and dignity is violated. The treatment and expedited deportation of hundreds of Haitian immigrants under Title 42 is not acceptable. Title 42 has no true medical basis and is causing harm to our immigrant siblings at the southern border. The order also violates the internationally recognized right to seek asylum. The Biden administration must immediately end Title 42 and allow Haitian immigrants to seek asylum and access to humanitarian assistance.”
Mary J. Novak, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:
“The continued misuse of Title 42 is a xenophobic policy that villainizes immigrants and asylum seekers. The abuse of Haitian asylum seekers at the hands of CBP and the Biden administration is unacceptable. The continued misuse of Title 42 relies on the false idea that we have to choose between welcoming people fleeing violence and protecting communities from the pandemic. We can do both. The Biden administration must end Title 42 immediately and welcome immigrants and asylum seekers with dignity.”
NETWORK members and supporters across the country have been demanding the Biden administration end the misuse of Title 42 over the past months, sending a letter to the White House with over 1,600 signatures in July. NETWORK also recently released a joint report with Kino Border Initiative detailing patterns of abuse by CBP at the Southern border. Everyone has a right to migrate to escape persecution, or to seek better opportunities for themselves and their families.
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org