June is Pride Month and Immigrant Heritage Month. This June, it is important to recognize that there is much work to be done to protect the rights of those who live at the intersection of these communities. As we celebrate Pride Month, we must continue pushing against policies which put their lives at risk. LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees face high rates of violence, and recent policies, such as Title 42, put them in danger.
Bigotry against LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees
According to the Center for American Progress, undocumented LGBTQ+ people face some of the highest rates of severe violence in the LGBTQ+ community. In a recent survey, the nonprofit organization Al Otro Lado found that 89% of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers had been subject to violence and threats.
Despite these facts, Human Rights Watch documented many cases of LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers being expelled even though they faced homophobic and/or transphobic abuse in their home countries.
What is Title 42?
The Title 42 expulsion policy was enacted on March 20, 2020. Under Title 42, the U.S. government has tried to ban immigrants and refugees from countries to prevent “the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States.” In practice, this has led to thousands of asylum seekers being apprehended and expelled at the border. LGBTQ+ and Black asylum seekers from African and Caribbean countries are disproportionately affected by this policy.
Ineffective, illegal, and inhumane
In addition to being ineffective in countering the spread of COVID-19, Title 42 violates domestic and international refugee law. Under U.S. immigration law, individuals have a legal right to claim asylum. Keeping Title 42 in place exacerbates violence against all immigrants and refugees, especially LGBTQ+ immigrants and refugees.
How can I help?
We urge the Biden-Harris administration to end the Remain in Mexico Program and Title 42 immediately. Seeking asylum is a human right and we must welcome those seeking safety and protection in the United States.
Take action today by emailing your senators to reject efforts to keep Title 42 in place.
This post was written by HIRCP summer intern Sarah Goldman. Sarah is a rising sophomore at Wellesley College studying English and Computer Science.