Asylum seekers ready in Mexico rattled by delays to US entry

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2021 02 19T120300Z 684175914 RC2OVL9VL7Z5 RTRMADP 3 USA IMMIGRATION ASYLUM 1

President Joe Biden has promised to roll again Trump-era programme that pressured migrants to stay in Mexico pending US hearings.

The United States has abruptly cancelled plans to convey asylum seekers into Texas at two ports of entry, dashing the hopes of a whole bunch who’ve been ready for months in Mexico below a Trump-era coverage President Joe Biden promised to unwind.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mentioned in an announcement on Monday that “given current operational considerations”, it might not say when it might start bringing in migrants by ports in Brownsville and El Paso, Texas.

The division mentioned final week it might begin accepting asylum seekers with energetic instances at these places on Monday and Friday, respectively. Texas is recovering from a winter storm that knocked out energy and water companies throughout the state.

A DHS spokeswoman didn’t give a particular motive for the delay however mentioned the company would start to make use of these places as soon as worldwide companions applied sure measures to make sure safety, well being and satisfactory processing programs.

Biden pledged to roll again the Trump-era programme, often known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which pressured greater than 65,000 principally Central American asylum seekers again throughout the border pending US immigration court docket hearings.

Most returned home however some stayed in Mexico in typically squalid or harmful circumstances, weak to kidnapping and different violence.

The Biden administration has mentioned it can first search to take care of about 25,000 individuals with energetic instances and the United Nations has arrange an internet site for individuals to register.

“We are really confused because we don’t see any change. We are just looking for help,” mentioned Josue Cornejo, a migrant from Honduras who has been caught in a makeshift camp in Matamoros, Mexico, throughout the border from Brownsville, for greater than a 12 months.

“They aren’t telling us anything,” he mentioned in a video message.

The effort to reverse the programme began slowly on Friday at a port of entry in San Ysidro, California, the place to this point 50 asylum seekers have been processed, in line with Democratic Representative Nanette Barragan who visited the border.

In latest days, a number of hundred migrants have amassed throughout the border in Tijuana, a lot of them not within the MPP programme however hoping to be allowed to enter the US. The migrants embody some households with babies and folks organising tents.

US officers say anybody who seeks to enter and doesn’t have an energetic MPP case will likely be instantly expelled below COVID-19-era rules.

A UN official mentioned on Monday that the organisation has registered greater than 7,700 migrants with energetic instances since Friday. The official mentioned asylum seekers within the Matamoros camp might be processed within the coming days.

The physique can also be tasked with testing migrants for COVID-19 in Mexico earlier than they arrive at US ports of entry, whereas non-profit organisations on the US facet are offering shelters for migrants to quarantine upon arrival.

Mark Manly, a UN official in Mexico, advised the Reuters information company on Friday that the web site ran slowly at occasions, however referred to as it “teething problems”.

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