Congressional Democrats have sent a letter to President Joe Biden, claiming he has broken asylum law by expanding Title 42 and proposing an asylum “transit ban.”
Forming a coalition, 77 Democratic Senators and lawmakers signed a letter addressed to Biden on Wednesday (January 25).
The Democrats urged the President to reverse Title 42 and end the transit ban. Those signing the letter include Rep. Greg Casar of Texas, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
The letter describes Biden’s actions as “violating asylum law and our international obligations,” with the lawmakers calling for “the Biden Administration to engage quickly and meaningfully with members of Congress” to ensure that they could “find ways” to address migration to our southern border adequately.
In a statement on Thursday (January 26), Menendez’s office highlighted that the U.S.’s immigration policies shouldn’t “come at the expense” of a commitment the nation has to “restore and protect the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.”
Title 42 is a Trump-era policy enabling authorities to send migrants back over the border without having to follow the formal asylum process, a measure intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Despite other pandemic-related policies having been dropped, Title 42 remains in place due to a Supreme Court ruling made in December.
The Biden administration has also made some adjustments to Trump’s version of the asylum “transit ban.”
Earlier in the month, Biden urged migrants to use legal immigration pathways to “avoid the dangerous consequences of irregular migration.”