LAS CRUCES — The health order known as “Title 42” that effectively blocked off access to asylum protection for people seeking refuge in the United States, is set to expire today at midnight. 

Putatively a public health measure, Title 42 was first introduced by Pres. Donald Trump with the guidance of Stephen Miller, his white nationalist-linked advisor, over the objections of scientists and experts at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Pres. Joe Biden’s administration continued using the health order despite significant evidence that people expelled to Mexico or their home countries under Title 42 were often robbed, kidnapped, sexually assaulted and even killed.  

On Wednesday, the Biden administration released an asylum ban that will severely restrict access to asylum for many of the most vulnerable people seeking protection in the U.S.  

Nayomi Valdez, public policy director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico, issued the following statement: 

“The Biden administration must use the end of Title 42 to rebuild an asylum system that is fair and humane, and which lives up to our values as Americans and New Mexicans. At its best, the U.S. has always been a beacon of hope for people around the world. Replacing Title 42 with the punitive asylum ban announced Wednesday that closes off meaningful access to asylum protections is a cruel betrayal of those ideals.”