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Immigration Law

Doctors: Title 42 Border Blockade "Discriminatory and Unjustifiable"

July 1, 2021 letter to HHS, CDC

"We are writing to follow up again on our January 28 letter to Dr. Walensky to urge the CDC to rescind in its entirety the order issued under Title 42 in March 2020 and repeatedly extended since, that continues to unethically exploit the COVID-19 pandemic to expel, block, and return to danger asylum seekers and individuals seeking protection at the border. ... Public health and medical experts have repeatedly called on the CDC to rescind the Title 42 expulsion policy which does not protect public health and was never intended to do so. ... The Title 42 order is based on political, rather than public health, considerations. The order itself was implemented despite the objections of senior CDC experts and public health experts. By allowing the order to remain in effect, the CDC is sanctioning the ongoing politicization of the institution, thereby weakening its authority and decreasing public trust in the agency. ... Rather than continuing to rely on a discriminatory and unjustifiable order, U.S. authorities should adopt measures that are based on sound science and public health practice, and that comply with U.S. law and treaty obligations towards refugees and asylum-seekers. As the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees confirmed in a rare public statement directed at the United States, “protecting public health and protecting access to asylum, a fundamental human right, are fully compatible.” We call on the CDC and HHS to fully rescind the Title 42 asylum expulsion order and implement appropriate protective measures in line with robust public health guidance, as the undersigned experts - as well as the many other epidemiologists and public health experts who have joined in letters to the CDC last year and this year - have repeatedly recommended."