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UN: Title 42 expansion undermines international human rights and refugee law

By Kendal Blust
Published: Friday, January 13, 2023 - 6:12pm
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Two United Nations agencies have spoken out against reforms from the Biden administration, saying the expansion of a pandemic-era border policy puts the United States at odds with established asylum protections.

Border officials have used the Title 42 health protocol 2.5 million times since March 2020 to send migrants at the border back to Mexico or their home countries without assessing the risks they face upon return.

The U.N. refugee and human rights agencies responded to the Biden administration's announcements that it would expand that policy to expel people more countries with alarm. They say the use of Title 42 undermines international human rights and refugee laws, and that the Biden administration’s plans to provide humanitarian parole to some migrants is not a substitute for allowing people to seek asylum at the border.

The rebuke comes as the U.S. rolled out another controversial change this week, making an online appointment system the only way for vulnerable migrants to receive exemptions from Title 42 at the border.

The CBPOne mobile app has been criticized for presenting logistical challenges, privacy concerns and language barriers to many migrants and asylum seekers who would be required to use it.

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