Biden Administration Must Treat All Asylum Seekers at Border Equally

Plan to Apply Title 42 to Venezuelan Asylees Smacks of Racism

(Washington)—President Biden’s plan to extend Title 42 to Venezuelan migrants at the southern border and send them back to Mexico is racist and hateful. Title 42 is a manipulation of public health law used to create a complete closure of the southwest border during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy is based on the idea that immigrants coming to the United States present a threat to the health of communities in the United States. The truth is that migrants arriving at the southwest border are seeking stability and safety and they have risked their lives to build better futures. Continuing Title 42 and applying it to more people will not stop the migration.   

“The administration was able to quickly create a parole program to welcome Ukrainian refugees to our country and we were glad for that effort,” said Nithya Nathan-Pineau, Policy Attorney and Strategist for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). “The parole program that the administration has announced for Venezuelans is woefully inadequate. The program is limited to 24,000 people each year and in September of this year more than 33,000 Venezuelan migrants encountered Customs and Border Protection at the southwest border.”   

“Venezuelans and other migrants from non-European countries face the same dangers in their native lands and should be afforded the same protections. The only difference here is that many migrants from Venezuela and non-European countries are Black and Brown people,” Nathan-Pineau said. “Sending Venezuelan asylees to Mexico just further endangers them. Frankly, we are appalled at the continued use of the previous administration’s racist immigration tactics. The Biden administration must end, not expand, Title 42 expulsions.” 

“This administration must stop succumbing to pressure from those who share harmful misinformation of what is happening at the border. Instead, they must recognize the human struggle of people seeking to come to the United States for the same reasons millions of others have come here since the country was founded: to escape tyranny, racism, violence and other extreme situations to build better lives,” Nathan-Pineau added. “The administration must look at this issue through humane and compassionate lenses, not political ones. Seeking asylum is a legal right and should not be penalized.”


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. Follow us at, and on Twitter and Instagram @the_ILRC