Restore the asylum and build a better world

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, as many in New Hampshire planned to celebrate the end of the year and spend time with loved ones, two of New Hampshire’s most prominent citizens were in Washington, DC, and voted to put asylum seekers at risk. The Senate voted on a budget proposal, trying to avert a government shutdown ahead of the holiday. An amendment was proposed that would expand Title 42 — the Trump-era executive order that used the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine international law and deny vulnerable people the right to seek asylum in the United States. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan both voted in favour. We are relieved that the measure did not come about.

For the past three years, Title 42 has prevented hundreds of thousands of (mostly black and brown) migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. Title 42 is not part of the Immigration Act; In response to the pandemic, it has had little justification as a public health measure, although medical professionals, public health experts, the CDC itself and the 5th Circuit Court have repeatedly stated that it has no real public health benefit.