Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Invisible Wall: Title 42 and its Impact on Haitian Migrants

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The Invisible Wall: Title 42 and its Impact on Haitian Migrants is a March 2021 report authored by The Haitian Bridge Alliance, the Quixote Center and UndocuBlack. Here is the authors' summary:

Part One of the Report discusses the history of the Title 42 policy and its implementation; summarizes conclusions from prestigious public health experts’ that the policy is not medically necessary but instead a political decision to close the U.S.-Mexico border; and explains how the policy deprives migrants of their right to seek asylum or other forms of protection in the United States in violation of U.S. and international law, and the credible legal challenges to the policy currently pending in U.S. courts.

Part Two of the Report reviews the Title 42 policy’s impact on Haitian migrants, in particular the invisible wall between the United State and Mexico that the policy has created. The paper discusses the reasons that Haitians flee Haiti; their arduous journey from Haiti through South and Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border; ICE’s failure to properly screen, test or treat Haitians for COVID-19 before removing or expelling them to Haiti; and the lack of legal protections afforded Haitian migrants under the Title 42 policy – including the lack of access to lawyers, language interpreters, medical care, and even basic sanitation. The Report explains how migrants are expelled to Haiti under the Title 42 policy without being informed whether or when they will be expelled, and without the opportunity to seek asylum or other forms of protection. The Report also describes the high security risks that Haitian migrants face when they are expelled to Haiti or Mexico.

The authors offer nine recommendations, first and foremost, that the Title 42 policy be revoked immediately. Other recommendations include that ICE and CBP follow public health experts’ advice by adopting a wide range of safety measures to mitigate public health risks to border agents. Lastly, the authors recommend that asylum processing be resumed while releasing migrants to shelter in place with their loved ones in the United States rather than detaining them.


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