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Immigration Law

Expert: End Title 42 and Restore Order

Prof. Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, July 27, 2022

The Hill - Opinion: Ending Title 42 won’t cause immigration mayhem — It will restore order

"... Since March 2020, approximately 900,000 people — including over 215,000 parents and children — have been denied the ability to request asylum at all. They’re casualties of Title 42, a pandemic-related policy that paused nearly all asylum proceedings at the border. Some people argue the policy is preventing an influx of migrants. In fact, numbers are up despite the policy, and our refusal to process most of them has led to chaotic and dangerous conditions.

The United States has successfully managed ebbs and flows of asylum seekers for decades. There’s a system in place to manage an influx — and regardless of how hard immigration lawyers like me fight for them to stay, many will lose their case and be deported. Even so, we must let people try. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also guaranteed under international and domestic law. We signed a 1967 protocol to the U.N. Refugee Convention to protect the rights of refugees, and we have adopted it and codified it into U.S. asylum law. Right now, we’re violating those obligations. The longer we do, the weaker American rule of law looks to our global partners.

We must immediately reinstate due process for asylum seekers. And once this happens, we must work to make the system more equitable and faster.

... [U]nder Title 42, most people who arrive at our border fleeing violence and persecution can’t even apply for safe haven. At the urging of more than 20 states, a federal judge has temporarily stopped the Biden administration from ending Title 42. States should not turn a public health and humanitarian issue into a political football. We have the capacity as a country to move asylum cases through the legal system in an orderly way — and a moral and legal imperative to do so."

Stephen Yale-Loehr is a professor of Immigration Law Practice at Cornell Law School and of counsel at Miller Mayer LLP in Ithaca, N.Y.