Friday 19th February 2021
For ongoing asylum procedures
USA let migrants across the border again
US President Biden is pushing the move away from Trump’s restrictive immigration policy. From now on, migrants who have applied for asylum in the USA are to be gradually allowed to cross the border again. Under Trump, the people in neighboring Mexico had to endure.
After the change in direction in migration policy, the US government is once again allowing asylum seekers to cross the border. As of Friday, the first applicants will come to the United States for their court hearings and will be allowed to stay in the United States for the duration of their proceedings, the White House announced.
The new administration of US President Joe Biden is breaking with the restrictive immigration policy of predecessor Donald Trump. So far, asylum seekers in Mexico have had to wait for a decision on their applications. As a result, some people lived in tent camps south of the US border for over a year.
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, around 25,000 people are currently still affected by the previous policy. However, the US government warned migrants not to come to the border crossings on their own. Asylum seekers have to register and will then be informed about the time and place of their possible border crossing.
Eight year old drowns in the Río Bravo
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) are helping with implementation. “This is a US government plan that has been coordinated and agreed with the Mexican government,” said IOM spokesman for Mexico, Alberto Cabezas. “The UN agencies have agreed to support the plan so that the migrants can continue their processes in the United States.”
Meanwhile, an eight-year-old child from Honduras drowned at the border. The boy was swept away by the floods of the Río Bravo (called Rio Grande in the US) while trying to get to the US together with other migrants, the Mexican immigration service INM announced on Thursday. The child’s parents and sister, who made it to the US shore, were reportedly taken to the border crossing in the Mexican city of Piedras Negras to identify the body. Only on Wednesday the INM had reported the death of a woman from Venezuela in the Río Bravo.
Every month tens of thousands of people are apprehended on the southern border of the USA after unauthorized entry from Mexico. The vast majority come from the Central American states of Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador and are fleeing poverty and violence.