62 Organizations File Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court on Title 42’s Deadly Impact


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, 62 organizations urged the Supreme Court to deny a belated attempt by several states to intervene in a case challenging the use of the Title 42 public health authority to expel asylum seekers and other migrants. The pandemic-era expulsion order was first implemented by former President Trump in March 2020. In Arizona v. Mayorkas, the high court is to decide whether these states can attempt to further delay the program’s wind-down by inserting themselves into the case on appeal. The amicus brief, co-authored by Human Rights First and Justice Action Center with pro bono support from Sidley Austin LLP, demonstrates the policy’s deadly human cost, highlighting the stories of asylum seekers harmed by Title 42.

“Human Rights First has tracked 13,480 reports of murder, kidnapping, rape, torture, and other violent attacks against people blocked in or expelled to Mexico due to Title 42 since January 2021,” said Anwen Hughes, Director of Legal Strategy for Refugee Programs at Human Rights First. “These expulsions and the way they are carried out make asylum seekers targets for violence in Mexico. This policy has been a public health, border management, and human rights fiasco and the Court should reject the States’ attempt to force its continuation.”

“It is unconscionable that these states prefer that we continue to deny asylum seekers their legal and human right to seek safety,” said Jane Bentrott, counsel at Justice Action Center. “As the states make clear in their motion, Title 42 was never about protecting public health, and has always been about inflicting harm and suffering on children, families, and adults—particularly Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. It is past time for these unlawful, immoral, and inhumane expulsions to end.”

Read the amicus brief here.

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. For 40 years the organization has worked to press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, Human Rights First steps in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Human Rights First is based in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

Justice Action Center (JAC) is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling. JAC is committed to bringing additional litigation resources to address unmet needs, empower clients, and change the corrosive narrative around immigrants in the U.S. Learn more at justiceactioncenter.org and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Meredith MacKenzie de Silva
Human Rights First
(202) 412-4270

Tasha Moro
Justice Action Center
(323) 450-7269

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