All human beings have inherent dignity and the right to seek safety. Every day, adults, children, and families are making treacherous journeys across borders in search of a better future – in many cases as a matter of life and death. Today – May 11 – marks the ending of Title 42. This immigration policy, exercised broadly under former President Donald Trump during the pandemic and then under President Joe Biden, allowed immigration authorities to expel hundreds of thousands of people seeking a better life without giving them a chance for asylum.
Here are additional resources to support you during this transitional time:
- NPNA’s Title 42 Sunset: Digital Toolkit
- NPNA’s Title 42 Sunset: Narrative & Messaging Framework
- Local Progress Impact Lab Policy Memo: Local Power to Choose Welcome
- NPNA’s ‘Always Welcome’ Toolkit
- New York Immigration Coalition’s (NYIC) ‘Welcoming New York’ Campaign
- Welcome With Dignity’s End of Title 42 Messaging Guide
The end of Title 42 marks an important step towards a more humane and dignified immigration system, but far more must be done to actualize this vision. Federal efforts – and in cases like Texas, state efforts – continue to rely on and prioritize criminalization and militarization – replacing the policy with a new set of punitive ones that will continue harming people seeking asylum, undermining the right to seek safety, and reinforcing Title 42’s racist legacy.
It’s important to acknowledge that we won’t see the impact of these changes or be able to identify the full array of needs it may result in for at least a couple weeks. What we do know, though, is that in the absence of humane federal and state policy, it is up to us as local leaders to step up. As a local elected official representing the City of El Paso, I want to stress that border communities must respond to the influx of people seeking asylum with very little resources, staffing, and notice. Particularly when it comes to busing and receiving people seeking asylum, I ask that we all do our very best to support the advocates on the ground in our border communities who are doing so much with very little logical support. We must always welcome people seeking refuge and inclusion into our communities, ensure they have access to the resources they need to thrive, and continue to advocate for a humane and dignified immigration system.
Welcoming immigrants makes our localities — and our nation — stronger. It is all of our duty to push back on the pervasive anti-immigrant rhetoric and proactively reinforce the importance of choosing welcome. The good news is that communities across the country have been doing this. Local leaders, advocates, and community members volunteer their time, skills, and care to welcome people in search of a better life with dignity. Everyday people are showing us a path forward that is rooted in respect and community, and offering us a roadmap to reflect nationally. As we grapple with what these changes mean for local governments, we must use our powers to help and reinforce these community-led efforts across the country.
We will continue to be in touch as we know more about what these changes mean for all of us, but in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the LP team if you need individual support or want to coordinate with other localities to ensure the best possible trans-local response.