The truth about Title 42
Letter to the Editor: The truth about Title 42
Title 42 is a provision that, temporarily, because of a public health crisis, allows the government to close our borders. Prior to 2020, the provision was rarely invoked. When the pandemic hit, President Donald Trump used it to expel migrants from the border, regardless of whether they were legally seeking asylum. The number of people seeking to enter our country has risen over the last decade as climate change and consequent economic and political instability have increased displacement worldwide. The myth that if Title 42 is lifted, our borders will be overrun with people requiring massive amounts of federal and state resources, is just that, a myth. If Congress issued immediate work authorization to those eligible to enter the country, rather than forcing people to wait months and years for this, few federal and state resources would be required, as people could seek and obtain employment immediately upon entry. We all know the economy needs people.
There are staffing crises in every single industry. Birth rates have been declining for more than two decades, mortality rates are increasing, baby boomers are retiring in droves, and our increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric has pushed immigrants elsewhere. Our democracy is also in crisis. The leading cause of death for children is gun violence, and hatred — of Jews, of immigrants, of LGBTQ persons, of people of color — is on the rise. Immigrants, who are usually fleeing persecution, be it political or based on their religion, their sexual preference, their race, or their ethnicity, are desperate to build lives based on the freedoms that many of us take for granted. Immigrants are our country’s strongest hope. Without them we come perilously close to losing everything for which we think this country stands.
Cathryn Miller-Wilson, Esq., executive director HIAS Pennsylvania