Media CenterAs Title 42 Ends, CRS Calls for U.S. Leaders to Protect the Rights of Migrants

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Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(978) 884-0003

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, May 11, 2023 – Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president of Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement in response to the end of Title 42, a public health order that restricted certain migrants from seeking asylum to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We echo the U.S. Bishops in imploring the administration and Congress to respect the rights and dignity of people urgently seeking safety at our border. As the international Catholic aid organization governed by the U.S. bishops, we believe in the right of people to seek asylum when their lives are threatened. What’s more, we know that most of those fleeing north are those most in need of relief—whose lives hang in the balance. We also know that most families wouldn’t choose to flee if they felt safe in their home countries. Given these realities, rather than focusing our policies solely at the border, we believe that the most sustainable and humane approach to immigration reform is through alleviating the poverty which too often robs families of their safety and their hope for the future.

For nearly 80 years CRS has seen firsthand the promise of robust investment in humanitarian and development programming that dismantles poverty and keeps families rooted in their communities. In the absence of such investment, people will continue to flee their homes and human smugglers will continue to profit from their desperation.

As Pope Francis has said, ‘Migrants are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.’”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
May 11, 2023

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More