President Joe Biden has vowed to cancel the Trump-era program that required migrants to stay in Mexico pending US hearings.
The United States abruptly canceled plans to bring asylum seekers to Texas at two ports of entry, dashing the hopes of hundreds of people who have waited months in Mexico under a policy of the United States. Trump era, President Joe Biden has vowed to relax.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement Monday that “given current operational considerations” it could no longer say when it would begin bringing in migrants through the ports of Brownsville and El Paso, TX. .
The department said last week it would begin accepting asylum seekers with active cases at those locations on Monday and Friday, respectively. Texas is recovering from a winter storm that shut down electric and water services statewide.
A DHS spokeswoman did not give a specific reason for the delay, but said the agency would start using these sites once international partners implemented certain measures to ensure safety, health and safety. adequate treatment systems.
Biden has pledged to cancel the Trump-era program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which has forced more than 65,000 asylum seekers from Central America, most of them, through the border pending the hearings of the US immigration court.
Most have returned home but some have remained in Mexico in sometimes squalid or dangerous conditions, vulnerable to kidnappings and other violence.
The Biden administration said it would first seek to treat around 25,000 people with active cases and the United Nations has set up a website for people to register.
“We’re really confused because we don’t see any change. We’re just looking for help, ”said Josue Cornejo, a migrant from Honduras who has been stuck in a makeshift camp in Matamoros, Mexico, across the border from Brownsville, for more than a year.
“They don’t tell us anything,” he said in a video message.
The effort to reverse the program started slowly Friday at a port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., where so far 50 asylum seekers have been processed, according to Democratic Representative Nanette Barragan who traveled to the border.
In recent days, several hundred migrants have gathered across the border in Tijuana, many of them not part of the MPP program but hoping to be allowed entry into the United States. Migrants include families with young children and people setting up tents.
U.S. officials say anyone who seeks entry and does not have an active case of MPP will be immediately deported under COVID-19 era rules.
A UN official said on Monday that the organization had registered more than 7,700 migrants with active cases since Friday. The official said asylum seekers in Matamoros camp could be treated in the coming days.
The body is also responsible for testing migrants for COVID-19 in Mexico before they arrive at U.S. ports of entry, while nonprofits on the U.S. side are providing shelter for migrants for them to do. they quarantine them when they arrive.
Mark Manly, a UN official in Mexico, told Reuters news agency on Friday that the website was sometimes running slowly, but called it “startup problems.”