The end of the Trump administration’s Stay in Mexico policy has given hope to migrants seeking to enter the United States, even though its cancellation will allow only a small number of asylum-seeking migrants to enter.
“I’m queuing just in case they start accepting new people,” Michoacan migrant Diana Abundio said in Spanish.
Abundio has yet to formally apply for asylum, but says she is queuing in hopes of a chance to plead her case.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone,” Ana Mancillas, a migrant from Honduras, said in Spanish.
Mancillas arrived four days ago. Like Abundio and Mancillas, there are dozens more sleeping on cold floors enduring the elements hoping for a chance to cross the border.
Most of those waiting at the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, are unlikely to have a chance to make their case anytime soon. The Biden administration has said that only asylum seekers who already have active immigration records and who have been sent to Mexico under Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPPs), or “Stay At Home” program. Mexico,” will be allowed entry — and only after applying through a government website.
Only about 25 people per day who meet the criteria will be allowed to enter the United States per day. Migrants applying should report to the staging area in Tijuana only after their application has been approved.
But many, because of my misinformation that the US border is now “open”, are congregating at El Chaparral anyway.
“What we’re seeing now is not just new migrant caravans forming, but also for a lot of people the word across Mexico is that the US-Mexico border is now open,” said attorney Esther Valdes. specializing in immigration. “More people are trying to open the seemingly open doors of the asylum program.”
Valdes says that over the past few days she has received many calls from migrants asking for help in opening a new asylum application.
She says most don’t qualify, and the unfortunate thing is that many still risk their lives for a chance.
Valdes encourages anyone seeking asylum to seek professional help first.
“Prepare the case, get documentary evidence, medical evidence, get testimonial evidence so you can show you were persecuted or likely to be persecuted in your home country,” Valdes said.
She adds that only about 30% of asylum applications end up in the United States.
Yet thousands of families risk their lives every day for the chance to present their case to a US immigration judge.
On Monday, asylum seekers waiting in Brownsville, Texas, are also expected to be allowed into the country, with residents of El Paso following on Friday.