WASHINGTON — Members of the leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced today that the Caucus would oppose legislative efforts to reinstate Title 42, a Trump-era policy that eliminated legal pathways for people to seek asylum during the public health emergency. The statement echoes the position expressed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
“In spirit and in policy, the Trump administration’s use of Title 42 stands in opposition to United States immigration law and American values. The Trump-initiated Title 42 was part of his anti-immigrant hate and fear agenda that used the pandemic as an excuse to deny asylum seekers their legal rights. That’s why ending it was a key part of the CPC’s executive action agenda for advancing immigrant rights, and we applaud the Biden administration’s announcement it would do so.
“The Trump administration systematically sought to remove all legal pathways for immigrants to enter the United States, including misusing a public health law to cut off legal immigration, stopping asylum seekers from seeking safety, and circumventing existing immigration law. There is no public health reason for allowing Title 42 to override our immigration laws, especially given our nation’s testing capacity, screening systems, effective vaccines, and other tools. Title 42 prevents people from pursuing the legal process set forth by Congress to apply for asylum, and violates international human rights treaties to which the U.S. is signatory. It continues to subject people from all over the world, including Central American, Haitian, Cameroonian and other Black asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border to trauma and abuse. By closing lawful paths to immigration, the imposition of Title 42 created chaos and disorder and stressed border communities. The repeal of this Trump administration policy allows for orderly and legal immigration processing at the border, and for systematic and careful review of asylum claims.
“The Progressive Caucus is proud to stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who have indicated they will oppose any amendments to the COVID-19 relief package and any standalone legislation that would attempt to reinstate Title 42 policy. As the leadership of the CPC, we commit to doing the same: we will oppose any amendments that would undermine President Biden’s effort to end Title 42 and follow immigration law.”
The signatories to this statement are members of the CPC executive board, and include: Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45); Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05) Chairs Emeriti Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Mark Pocan (WI-02); Vice Chairs Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Marie Newman (IL-03), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12); Deputy Whips Cori Bush (MO-01), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Andy Levin (MI-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13); Special Order Hour Conveners Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03); and Member at Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).