Geneva [Switzerland], September 23 (ANI): The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) High Commissioner Filippo Grandi was shocked by images of the deplorable conditions of Haitian immigrants beneath the concrete highway overpass in Del Rio, Texas.
"I was shocked by images of the deplorable conditions beneath the concrete highway overpass in Del Rio, Texas, where more than 14,000 Haitians had gathered after arduous journeys from a number of countries in the Americas," said Grandi in a statement.
He urged the US government to "fully and immediately" lift its Title 42 restrictions, which denies most people arriving at the southwest US land border any opportunity to request asylum.
"I reiterate UNHCR's call for the US government immediately and fully to lift its Title 42 restrictions in effect since March of 2020 which continue to deny most people arriving at the southwest US land border any opportunity to request asylum," said Grandi.
Title 42 public health law allows border agents to swiftly remove tens of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers arriving at the southern border.
Immigration advocates had been negotiating with the Biden administration to end a Trump-era rule that blocks most migrants from entering the United States.
As per Grandi, the mass expulsions of individuals currently underway under the Title 42 authority, without screening for protection needs, is inconsistent with international norms and may constitute refoulement.
Meanwhile, The Biden administration has kept the policy in place, citing concerns about the pandemic, including the explosion of cases of the contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. (ANI)