HomeKorean AmericanHarold Koh Resigns and Cites Haitian Deportations, Asylum Denial

Harold Koh Resigns and Cites Haitian Deportations, Asylum Denial

Senior State Department official Harold Koh is leaving his position in the Biden administration, citing the administration’s continued use of a Trump-era immigration policy, POLITICO reports.

In a memo obtained by POLITICO, Koh criticized the administration for its use of Title 42.

Title 42 is a public health authority that the Trump administration implemented in March 2020. It allows the expulsion of government persons when a communicable disease is present in the country.

According to Truthout, Title 42 allows the government to deny asylum seekers at the border. Critics of the policy say Trump used the pandemic to push strict immigration policies.

The policy made headlines in September when pictures of Border Patrol agents cracking their whips at Haitian asylum seekers when viral.

In his memo, Koh called said the policy was “badly flawed.”

“I believe this Administration’s current implementation of the Title 42 authority continues to violate our legal obligation not to expel or return (“refouler”) individuals who fear persecution, death, or torture, especially migrants fleeing from Haiti,” Koh wrote in the memo, according to POLITICO. “Lawful, more humane alternatives plainly exist, and there are approaching opportunities in the near future to substitute those alternatives in place of the current, badly flawed policy.”

An administration official told POLITICO that Koh will remain in an advising role. They say his departure has been long-planned. Koh was not available for comment.

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