In the News: Asylum Seekers in Mexico to Enter the United States
25,000 migrants who had active, ongoing cases in US courts and who were waiting in Mexico for an asylum decision will now be allowed to enter the US and get their case heard before a judge. President Joe Biden has chosen to reprocess all of the migrants who were held under the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol policy.
These are all older cases. The pandemic has caused the administration to resist launching new asylum cases. All of the migrants being allowed in to have their cases heard will be tested for Covid-19.
The administration will process the immigrants who have had the longest wait time first, or the ones who are in the most vulnerable positions. The processing will be happening at three ports of entry, though the information on which three ports will be used has yet to be released.
There are 33,000 migrants who were given incorrect information about their hearings and did not attend them, or had an in absentia ruling made against them. This current move by the Biden administration will not help those refugee seekers.
Migrants who have been forced to wait in Mexico have often done so in deplorable conditions. They have been the targets of coyote scammers, kidnappers, and other violent criminals. They have often been forced to live in tents, shelters, or other makeshift accommodations.
The administration also promises that immigrants will not be detained while awaiting their day in court, but will be offered alternatives to detention. The administration has not specified what these will be, but ankle bracelets and check-ins are likely.
If you have a family member who is waiting at the border you should advise them to wait on official information and to avoid making any sudden moves. The border is not wide open, a lot of misinformation is also flying around, and there’s a risk of appearing at the wrong port of entry for those who make premature moves.
Ultimately, over 70,000 asylum seekers have been detained in Mexico under the MPP policy. It will likely take time for the Biden administration to find solutions for all of them.
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