Washington, DC—As Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas prepares to testify at today’s House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) urges the Biden Administration to maintain its commitment to ending Title 42 on May 23. The Administration should appeal the temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge earlier this week and continue its efforts to lift the illegal policy which has been criticized by public health experts as unnecessary from the start.
“There is no hiding the fact that Title 42 is in place as a border control policy and not to protect public health,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Efforts to halt its implementation either by the courts or in Congress are wrong-headed and only delay us from devising the reforms necessary to ensure a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system. Title 42 benefits no one and places thousands of people, including children alone and families, in grave danger and creates instability at the border.”
In the meantime, the Administration has an immediate opportunity to implement additional measures to ensure the appropriate processing of arriving unaccompanied children and other protection seekers. KIND urges Secretary Mayorkas to use today’s testimony to detail plans to take the following steps that could immediately improve the safety of children at the border and reduce unnecessary family separations:
- Restore access to protection at ports of entry
- Hire child welfare professionals in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody to screen and care for children
- Co-locate specialists from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to expedite the safe release of children to a sponsor
“It’s time to start a new chapter in the history of U.S. immigration and develop solutions that will put us on a sustainable path toward a functional system that protects those who need it most and promotes U.S. laws and priorities,” Young added.
Media Contact: Megan McKenna, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-631-9990