US President Biden is busy reversing his predecessor’s immigration policy. He says it will restore the US’s reputation as a “beacon of hope” for migrants and refugees. Little by little, asylum seekers are admitted, who had to await their asylum application in Mexico under Trump.
Monica is one of those migrants who notices that this policy has changed. She is waiting with her tired son on one of the plastic folding chairs at the bus station in Brownsville, Texas. Around her, bowls of soup and clothes are distributed to a few dozen migrants who have just crossed the border. “After all we went through to get here, we are thrilled that Joe Biden has won. We are grateful to him for making our dream come true.”
Monica spent a year in Camp Matamoros in Mexico, a stone’s throw from the US border. She and her child were detained there by Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which saw tens of thousands of immigrants at the US border returned to Mexico awaiting their asylum process. Provisional encampments arose along the border where criminals made things unsafe.
President Biden is reversing this policy, allowing the immigrants who had to stay in Mexico to cross the border. Immigration attorney Jodi Goodwin is relieved that the government is moving in a new direction, but she also remains skeptical. “Biden promises a lot. We are still waiting to see if he will live up to his words with the policy coming out of the White House. This is about a limited number of immigrants who were trapped at the border. For people arriving now and seeking asylum, the borders remain closed There’s no way to get in. “
Yet migrants on the Mexican side of the border are also happy with Biden. With the help of a local cameraman, Latin America correspondent Marc Bessems spoke to Margot from Nicaragua, who hopes she will now be able to enter the US soon: