Open Statement to the Biden Administration: Do Not Place More Asylum Seekers Behind Bars as Title 42 Lifts

The undersigned 233 organizations call on the Biden administration to live up to its promise of creating a more humane immigration system by ensuring asylum seekers and other migrants are not placed behind bars in immigration detention as Title 42 is lifted.

Our organizations welcome the overdue end of the unlawful and cruel Title 42 expulsion policy. As Title 42 ends, the government can heed lessons from other nations; the international community has for years managed to humanely and fairly receive people forced to flee their homes due to crises and conflict. Many nations have responded to this challenge with community-based services and support programs—not by expanding the use of detention. The United States must show moral leadership and join these nations, rather than those that seek to punish and stigmatize the most vulnerable among us through detention and surveillance.

Mass detention of immigrants and asylum seekers places the United States further at odds with international norms and treaty obligations. Detention places people in conditions known to cause mental and physical harm and endanger their lives. Detention is not a deterrent to migrants who have no choice but to flee dangerous or violent conditions in search of a better life. It is also unnecessary in ensuring future appearance, as non-detained asylum seekers and immigrants overwhelmingly appear for their court hearings.

ICE currently detains approximately 25,500 people per day in county jails, for-profit prisons, and federal facilities across the country, costing taxpayers $2.9 billion in 2023. The system is riddled with abusive conditions, including: medical abuse and negligent mental health care; lack of access to basic necessities; sexual and physical assault; frequent use of solitary confinement; and retaliation for reporting abuse. These abuses are endemic to the system; oversight mechanisms have proven ineffective in remedying them. Detention also separates immigrants from their children, spouses, and loved ones, inflicting long-lasting trauma in immigrant communities.

The American public overwhelmingly believes that people seeking safety in the United States should be able to fairly access asylum. The cruelty and harms of detention should have no part in that. Whether they are green card holders, refugees, asylees, or asylum seekers, immigrants are

integral and vibrant members of our community. Detention is not an effective or humane response to people seeking safety at the border and it must not be expanded.

Our organizations are in solidarity with immigrant communities and asylum seekers, and urge the Biden administration to abandon policies that undermine their dignity, livelihoods, and human rights. The administration can instead utilize options such as parole, issue work permits, and invest resources in local communities providing shelter and support to migrants while they navigate their immigration cases.

We call on the Biden administration to make good on its commitments to never detain families, to end privatized immigration detention, and ensure that people seeking safety can pursue their cases while living in communities in the United States rather than being subjected to inhumane detention and surveillance.



National Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Immigration Council

Amnesty International USA

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Detention Watch Network

Freedom for Immigrants

Human Rights First

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

National Immigrant Justice Center

National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)

Women’s Refugee Commission

#DetentionKills Transparency Initiative

#WelcomeWithDignity Campaign

Abortion Access Front

Acacia Center for Justice

African Communities Together

African Human Rights Coalition

African Immigration Initiative

Alianza Americas

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

Americans for Immigrant Justice

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

Border Kindness

Boston University School of Law, Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Program


Center for Constitutional Rights

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Center for Immigration Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Center for Victims of Torture

Child Labor Coalition

Children's Defense Fund

Church World Service

Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center

Coalition on Human Needs

Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP)

Community Change Action

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Council for Global Equality

Disability Rights Advocates

Drug Policy Alliance

Fair and Just Prosecution

Freedom Network USA

Government Accountability Project

Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!)

Haitian Bridge Alliance

Human Rights Campaign

Human Rights Watch

Immigrant Families Together

Immigration Hub

Immigrant Justice Network

Immigration Equality

Immigration Law & Justice Network


Innovation Law Lab


Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)


Japanese American Citizens League

Justice Action Center

Justice for Migrant Women

Justice in Motion

Justice Strategies

Latin America Working Group

Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG)

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Marianist Social Justice Immigration team


MPower Change

Muslim Advocates

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

National Council of Churches

National Council of Jewish Women

National Education Association

National Employment Law Project

National Immigration Law Center

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice

National Lawyers’ Guild- SF Bay Area chapter

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR)

National Partnership for New Americans

National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic

Oasis Legal Services

Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity/Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth

Oxfam America

Physicians for Human Rights

Poder Latinx

Poligon Education Fund

Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Project ANAR

Quixote Center


Refugee Congress

Refugees International

Respond Crisis Translation

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Society of the flora, fauna & friend


Southern Border Communities Coalition

T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Tahirih Justice Center

The Education Trust

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The TransLatin@ Coalition

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)

UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic

UltraViolet Action

Unitarian Universalist Association

Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice

United We Dream

Value our Families

Vera Institute of Justice

We Are All America

Win Without War

Witness At The Border

Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights


Regional & Local Organizations

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

AIDS Alabama

Al Otro Lado

Alianza, Sacramento

American Gateways

Arizona Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders for Equity

Black and Brown United in Action

California Coalition for Women Prisoners

California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ)

California Immigrant Policy Center

Carolina Migrant Network

Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program

Central American Minors (CAM) Working Group

Central American Resource Center of Northern CA - CARECEN SF

Central Washington Justice for Our Neighbors

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos: United Workers' Center

Centro Legal de la Raza

Chicana Latina Foundation

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)

Community EsTr(El/La)

Congregation Action Network

Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible

Corazón Az

Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services Inc

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Washington DC

DRUM - Desis Rising Up & Moving

El Refugio

Envision Freedom Fund

Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project

Faith in New Jersey

Faith in New York

Families for Freedom

Fellowship Southwest

First Friends of New Jersey & New York

FL National Organization for Women

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Georgia Immigration Collaborative

Greater Orlando National Organization for Women

Guadalupe Presbyterian Church, USA-Az

Hartford Deportation Defense

Home is Here NOLA

Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

Houston Leads

Human Rights Initiative

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Immigrant Action Alliance

Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project

Immigration Counseling Service (ICS)

Immigration Law & Justice of the Delaware Valley

Indivisible Brooklyn

Indivisible Marin

Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America

Interfaith Welcome Coalition - San Antonio

Japanese American Citizens League Philadelphia Chapter

Just Neighbors

Justice for Our Neighbors Michigan

Justice For Our Neighbors North Central Texas

La Resistencia

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center

Latino Community Fund (LCF Georgia)

Legal Aid Justice Center

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA)

Mariposa Legal

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Midwest Immigration Bond Fund

Migrant Center for Human Rights

Migrant Equity Southeast

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Mobile Pathways

Never Again Action Boston

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Pax Christi New York State

Pax Christi Pacific Northwest

ProgressNow New Mexico

Public Law Center

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

SA Stands

Sanctuary and Resistance to Injustice (SARI)

South Bay People Power

South Dakota Pax Christi

Southern Poverty Law Center


Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice

Surveillance Technology Oversight Project

Texas Civil Rights Project

The Advocates for Human Rights

the devi co-op

The Porchlight Collective SAP

Transformations CDC

Unidad Latina en Accion NJ


Voces Unidas (RGV)

Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Washington Defender Association

Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Woori Juntos

Workers Defense Project