Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GULC Urges Biden to End Title 42


The dean of the Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) signed onto a letter urging the Biden administration to end the use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Title 42 public health order, an immigrant expulsion policy established during the COVID-19 pandemic.

@georgetownlawofficial/Instagram | Dean William Treanor of the Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) signed a letter calling on the Biden administration to end the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Title 42 public health order, an immigrant expulsion policy.

Dean William Treanor signed onto the letter, which was signed by leaders at 14 Jesuit law and immigrant advocacy institutions, including Fordham University School of Law, Boston College Law School and Loyola University Chicago School of Law, on March 30. Two days later, on April 1, the Biden administration announced that it would end its use of Title 42, which was first implemented under the Trump administration in March 2020. 

Title 42 has been harmful to migrants seeking to enter the United States, according to the letter.  

“The harms visited on vulnerable migrants by the Title 42 Order are extensive and well-documented. From March 2020 to February 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported more than 1 million expulsions at the U.S. Southwest land border under Title 42,” the letter reads. 

The order, which the Trump administration implemented in March 2020 terminated migrants’ rights to enter the United States. The Trump administration said the order was intended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at border stations and detention centers. 

The order has allowed border control authorities to bypass typical immigration screening measures, allowing them to expel border crossers to their countries of origin or Mexico without allowing them to seek humanitarian protection. 

The letter expressed concern about the Biden administration’s continued use of the order in expelling migrants seeking humanitarian protection at the U.S.-Mexico border. Detailing the harms the order has caused migrants seeking to enter the United States, the letter argues that migrants do not pose a serious threat to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. 

Treanor, who wrote the quote alongside Fordham Law School Dean Matthew Diller, said he believed the voices of Jesuit institutions would impact Biden.

“It was our belief that the voice of Jesuit law school deans would be singularly important, particularly to President Biden, as we called for the immediate rescission of the Title 42 Order and the protection of refugees, the promotion of justice, and adherence to rule of law principles,” Treanor wrote to The Hoya.

GULC Professor Elisa Massimino was proud to see GULC call for the end of what she viewed as a cruel and unnecessary order. 

“The use of Title 42 was a cruel and cynical ploy by the Trump administration to shut down access to refugee protection at the southern border,” Massimino wrote to The Hoya. “It has been condemned by public health experts as unnecessary and counterproductive. I was proud to see our dean and other leaders of Jesuit institutions call for an end to it.” 

Since the legal provision’s enactment it has been used to expel over 1 million people seeking humanitarian protection. 

The CDC announced that termination of the order will be implemented beginning May 23. The CDC decided to end the order after considering current public health conditions and increased tools that can be used to fight COVID-19, including vaccines and therapeutics. 

Jesuit institutions have been advocating for the end of Title 42 since its implementation, according to Giulia McPherson, director of advocacy and operations at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA), an international Catholic organization that supports and advocates for refugees and forcibly displaced persons around the world, who signed onto the letter.  

“Jesuit Refugee Service/USA welcomes last week’s determination by the Centers for Disease Control to terminate Title 42,” McPherson wrote in a statement to The Hoya. “Since its implementation in March 2020, JRS/USA has advocated alongside partner organizations and fellow Jesuit institutions for the U.S. government to rescind this harmful policy.”

McPherson said that her organization is ready to support asylum seekers impacted by this change in policy through psychosocial and legal assistance.

“Throughout this transition, we will continue to urge the Administration to place the rights of asylum seekers at the center of all policy decisions,” McPherson wrote.

Treanor said it was overwhelming to see so much support from peer institutions. 

“This call reflected the core Jesuit principle of commitment to the protection of all people. We were both overwhelmed, but not surprised, by the enthusiastic support we received from our colleagues at other Jesuit law schools, and we were delighted by the Administration’s decision,” Treanor wrote.

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