The Biden administration is letting us down as it continues to abide the trump era Title 42. Title 42 of the Public Health Service Act of 1944 allows federal health officials to prohibit people and goods from entering the country in the event of a pandemic. However activists and sensible Americans and especially physicians believe that this CDC reliance is an excuse to use the VIRUS as a MASK to keep asylum seekers out of the country.
There is plenty we can do now, especially as we have a vaccine, to avert the fear, albeit faux, that refugees and asylum seekers will bring COVID into America. Let us face facts the ones who are bringing COVID into America are those citizens living next door to us who are refusing the vaccination! Stop scapegoating asylum seekers, especially those of color. The Biden admin must abide its promises and step in to take down policy that essentially strips asylum seekers of their rights, their protection and safety. This brings me to declare how Title 42 policy impacts LGBTQI+ people, with the astounding reality that Transgender and non-binary people in forced displacement are being memorialized by politicians and community while at the same time left out to die on this Trans Remembrance Day 2021, noting that most deaths of Trans people occur in the migrant population: 1. Trans people on the US /Mexico Southern border, who undertook harrowing journeys to get there, have been refused due process for asylum, remain in limbo, unable to survive, and are in deathly danger .... 2. Today is Trans Day of Remembrance and so many people and organizations are sending e-mails and posting notices on social media rending remembrances messages and support for the Transgender community. 3. The Biden Admin and the very Members of Congress and Senators who purport to support LGBTQI+ people and are also acknowledging today in the hope of thwarting more violence against trans people, are doing very little or not enough to bring an end to the very policy that puts trans people in the face of death!
With that said, here is my statement to Americans today: So today , NOV 20, 2021, is Trans Remembrance Day: What have YOU the constituents done beyond posting your conscience on your Facebook page. What are you the Congressional Reps and Senators doing beyond lip service? If you really care about TRANS people you would NOT be silent while the Biden Admin continued the TRUMP Policy of hiding behind the MASK of a VIRUS to keep asylum seekers out of our country.
This week I went into 2 Senator's offices and I told them something along these lines:
PLEASE be informed as to how Title 42 is impacting LGBTQI asylum seekers and of course ALL Asylum seekers: Over 70 countries in the world with over 30 in Africa, criminalize LGBTI individuals, with harsh punishments, long prison terms with some even metering out the death penalty. These laws give license to non-state actors to commit violence, through so called mob justice, assaults, sexual violence - reparative therapies and even killings.
There are few and limited paths for LGBTQI+ people to get protection or safety. Forcibly displaced LGBTQI+ people are often compelled to seek protection in hostile host countries and many times are surrounded by fellow refugees who exact similar harm- given they too do not understand, tolerate or accept sexuality and gender identity differences. This exacerbates the desperate need for swift protection measures – for urgent safety solutions - and quick access to due process to adjudicate for asylum.
YET Title 42 and Wait in Mexico Policy takes zero cognizance of their plight! This policy is deathly…
The US Border has become an increasingly popular, albeit extremely onerous route. Before the COVID19 Pandemic sent us into lockdowns, cases where LGBTQI people had risked their lives and made the arduous journey to reach our Southern borders were adjudicated and many granted asylum based on the facts and the country conditions for LGBTQI+ people, proving their credibility and the merits for asylum .
Under TITLE 42 they are now being turned away. This US policy that uses the VIRUS as a MASK - is cruelty of the worst order. While we hear of these very LGBTI asylum seekers now being turned away or stuck in dangerous territory, I am not asking for special treatment, I am asking for a fair policy where we do not keep anyone in a dangerous limbo or send ANYONE back to sexual violence, beatings, torture and even death...
LGBTI people who are criminalized have no family. We the global community are their family. Trans, lesbian, gay, bi, intersex, non-binary asylum seekers must be heard. The current Title 42 Policy must END. Speak out!
SPEAK to your Senator and Representative now…
And also consider donating to African HRC where we provide advocacy for and emergency humanitarian assistance to Trans and all forcibly displaced LGBTQI+ people HERE.
Melanie Nathan nathan@AfricanHRC.org firstname.lastname@example.org @MelanieNathan1