The report said that the few people who have been allowed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to go forward in the asylum process have “received screenings that are more difficult to pass than traditional asylum interviews. They have to prove they are ‘more likely than not’ to be tortured if expelled, which would qualify them for refuge under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, of which the U.S. is a signatory.” Of those 3,217 people, just 272 people have passed the more stringent interviews, the report said.
“This is very disturbing and alarming. Migrants are being prevented from exercising a basic human right, which is to apply for asylum,” asylum officers’ union president Michael Knowles told CBS News. Knowles had previously called the Remain in Mexico policy “illegal” and “immoral.” The Biden administration may revive that policy in just weeks. Knowles said in the report that “[b]ecause of the way [Title 42] is being carried out, our officers are being prevented from carrying out their mission, which is to ensure that people asking for asylum have a fair hearing and are treated humanely.”
And our government isn’t being honest about the policy, which in recent weeks has been used to quickly deport thousands of Haitian people back to danger:
Psaki has also defended Title 42 as “a public health requirement,” as Department of Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas has claimed the administration is continuing the policy “out of a public health need.” This is bullshit. Title 42 has been a bad-faith effort from the start, implemented under political pressure by former Vice President Mike Pence and noted white supremacist Stephen Miller. The New York Times reported in May 2020 that Miller had been itching for a public health crisis to use any excuse to shut down migration, and he got in COVID-19.
So what does that mean? “The new statistics show the implementation of Title 42 is inconsistent with U.S. and international refugee laws, which were created in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust to ensure countries did not summarily deport people without determining whether they could face persecution if returned,” CBS News continued. The Biden administration’s continued use of Title 42 has also received several statements of condemnation from the U.N.
“I appeal to the government of the United States to swiftly lift the public health-related asylum restrictions that remain in effect at the border and to restore access to asylum for the people whose lives depend on it, in line with international legal and human rights obligations,” High Commissioner for Refugees commissioner Filippo Grandi said in May.