Asylum-Seekers Begin Entering US As Biden Overturns Controversial Trump Immigration Policy.
THE first wave of asylum-seekers crossed the US border on Friday, Feb. 19 under President Joe Biden’s sweeping immigration reforms. Thousands more waited in Mexico hoping that they, too, would be allowed into the country.
The asylum-seekers were allowed into the US on Friday as part of President Joe Biden’s efforts to unwind the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration policies. Under former president Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program, tens of thousands of non-Mexican asylum seekers — mostly from Central America — were sent back over the border pending the outcome of their applications.
Biden’s administration moved quickly to start dismantling the controversial policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), with a first stage that began on Friday.
The American Civil Liberties Union welcomed their arrival as “an important step in rebuilding” the US asylum system. “But thousands are still suffering right now stuck in limbo under this inhumane policy,” ACLU San Diego spokesman Edward Sifuentes said.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are approximately 25,000 active cases. Mexico says 6,000 remain on its territory. The news was welcomed with relief in a sprawling migrant camp in the Mexican city of Matamoros, just across the border from Brownsville, Texas.
“I’ve been reading all the articles,” said Salvadoran asylum seeker Sandra Andrade, who has been waiting in Mexico for over a year to resolve her U.S. court case. “Honestly, I have no words for how I’m feeling right now!”
Biden vowed on the campaign trail to roll back restrictive Trump-era immigration policies, including MPP, which is informally known as “remain in Mexico.” His administration suspended new entries into the program when he took office on Jan. 20 but did not immediately put forward a plan to bring the people enrolled in it into the United States. Some have been waiting for as long as two years.
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