Migrants celebrated this Friday (02.12.2021) the decision of the government of President Joe Biden to dismantle the Trump-era immigration program that forced them to remain in Mexico while their request for asylum in the United States was resolved.
“With this news, our miracle is about to come true,” said Nicol Bueso, a 19-year-old migrant from Honduras who has been waiting for 18 months in the Ciudad Juárez border. For his part, José Madrid, a 40-year-old migrant from Honduras, thanked the Biden government for the decision.
“Life is very difficult in Central America and we thank the president for making that decision and helping Central America,” said Madrid, who has been waiting in Ciudad Juárez for 20 months.
In early February, Biden instructed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take action to end the controversial Migrant Protection Program (MPP) established by his predecessor Donald Trump.
This agreement forced tens of thousands of asylum seekers to remain at the border pending the resolution of their cases, which created a humanitarian crisis in the area, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This controversial program was part of Trump’s plan to fight irregular immigration, following the massive caravans of late 2018 and early 2019.
Guatemala again under tension
Meanwhile, the Guatemalan government held a meeting this Friday between several of its entities to coordinate their actions in the face of the possible arrival this month of a new migrant caravan bound for the United States, tentatively from Honduras.
The Biden administration announced this Friday plans so that the tens of thousands of asylum seekers who are waiting in Mexico for their cases to be heard by the immigration court can wait in the United States while their reception is settled.
The first of about 25,000 asylum seekers waiting in Mexico with ongoing cases will be admitted to the United States on February 19, authorities said. According to the local press, border agents are ready to implement the measure.
They plan to start slowly with two border crossings, each processing up to 300 people per day and a third crossing with fewer. Administration officials declined to name them out of fear that they might encourage a flood of people to those locations.
In mid-January, almost 9,000 Hondurans crossed Guatemala by land in search of reaching the United States to have better life chances and escape violence. Six thousand of them were forced to return to Honduras by the Guatemalan security forces.
gs (afp, efe)