Title 42: The Misuse of Public Health to Restrict Asylum

The Trump administration’s misuse of a long-forgotten public health statute has turned the Title 42 policy into one of the most restrictive immigration policies ever implemented at the U.S. southern border. President Biden has yet to repeal the policy, sustaining massive expulsions of asylum seekers, including families, and putting people’s lives in danger by blocking access to the asylum process. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) hosted a discussion on the direct impacts and human rights implications of Title 42 expulsions as well as solutions needed to protect asylum seekers and refugees during the pandemic.

The conversation was moderated by Amy Cohen, MD, a mental health and child welfare consultant to attorneys monitoring detention facilities, executive director of Every Last One, and a member of PHR’s Asylum Network.

Featured panelists:

  • Lee Gelernt, JD, MSc is a civil rights lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, where he serves as deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project and director of the Project’s Access to the Court’s Program. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.
  • Hannah Janeway, MD is an International and Domestic Health Equity and Leadership Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an attending physician at UCLA-Olive View Medical Center and White Memorial Medical Center. They are co-founder and co-director of Refugee Health Alliance.
  • Cynthia Pompa is a program officer with PHR’s asylum team, supporting PHR’s Asylum Network to advocate for human rights-based immigration policies.
  • Linda Rivas, JD is executive director and managing attorney of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, an organization dedicated to the legal needs of low-income migrants.

See all events on PHR’s COVID-19 Webinar Series.

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