FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 11, 2023
Government Accountability Project’s Statement on the Expiration of Title 42 and the Biden Administration’s Asylum Rule
WASHINGTON – Today, fifteen months into his presidency, the Biden administration is lifting Title 42, a Trump-era policy held over by the Biden administration. We applaud the removal of this policy, which was rooted in spurious public-health grounds to limit immigration at the southwest border. In its place, the Biden administration is simultaneously implementing a new final rule that enacts barriers and bans to asylum. This final rule enacts the February 23, 2023 proposed rule that was met with overwhelming opposition by a diverse group of nongovernmental and faith-based organizations, medical and public health experts, the Asylum Officers union, the UN Refugee Agency, and more than 80 members of Congress as violative of existing legal obligations to protect refugees and likely to inflict harm on asylum seekers.
Government Accountability Project has represented several whistleblowers who blew the whistle on the harmful consequences of border policies, including DHS medical and mental health experts who warned in 2018 about the imminent risk of harm to children when the Trump administration ended its “zero tolerance” policy of separating children from their families by instead locking children in ICE prisons with their parents; an asylum officer who in 2019 refused to conduct interviews under the new Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”) on the ground that it violated asylum laws and constitutional due process rights and knowingly endangered migrants by sending them back to Mexico; and multiple federal employees detailed to the HHS Fort Bliss Emergency Intake Site who blew the whistle on negligent conditions and case management chaos they witnessed in Spring 2021 as Title 42 drove thousands of unaccompanied minors into the sprawling tent camp in Texas.
Dana Gold, Government Accountability Project’s Senior Counsel, stated,
“Under both the Trump administration and the Biden administration, intense political pressure to address migration through aggressive enforcement has driven the enactment of border policies that have violated existing domestic and international legal obligations and endangered asylum seekers. At every turn, government employees and contractors felt compelled to blow the whistle—consistent with their legal rights to do so—on illegal, dangerous, and grossly mismanaged immigration policies and practices.
We are concerned that the new asylum rule enacted today will be no different—rife with problems and potential harm to asylum seekers. We stand ready to support ethical employees across the myriad agencies and departments involved with the immigration system who will be on the front lines putting this policy into practice, helping ensure they are empowered to blow the whistle on potential legal violations and harm to migrants posed by this new border policy.”
Free resources for whistleblowers are available on the Government Accountability Project website at www.whistleblower.org/resources. Employees seeking legal advice and support can contact Government Accountability Project by visiting our intake request page at https://whistleblower.org/how-to-request-assistance/.
Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.