World Border Shelters Emptying as Joe Biden Admits 'Vulnerable' Asylum Seekers
'We get the brunt': In Texas border towns in the Rio Grande Valley, life intertwines with migrant surge
The Rio Grande Valley has been the backdrop of the migration surge. And for local officials, taking care of migrant families has been a priority.Vareli, 6, checked the photo and her eyes lit up with joy as her black face mask, with the phrase “grateful” printed on it, hid her smile. Her mother nodded approvingly before continuing her conversation with a woman sitting next to her on the maroon bench at the bus station in downtown McAllen.
Vice Presidentmay have told migrants, "Do not come," but it appears the message has already been received, as shelters along the border begin to empty out.
Over the past several months, shelters in Mexico border cities like Tijuana, Nogales, and Ciudad Juárez hosted hundreds of migrants seeking entry to the U.S. These shelters encountered a steady stream of migrants in need, leading them to reach full capacity as resources depleted.
US taps groups to pick asylum-seekers to allow into country
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Biden administration has quietly tasked six humanitarian groups with recommending which migrants should be allowed to stay in the U.S. instead of being rapidly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers that block people from seeking asylum. © Provided by Associated Press Immigration-Asylum The groups will determine who is most vulnerable in Mexico, and their criteria has not been made public.
The Biden administration's recent move allowing "vulnerable" migrants to seek asylum means more people leaving the shelters and seeking entry to the U.S. at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) checkpoints. And while the number admitted remains limited to 250 individuals a day, a variety of other factors are also at play.
"There's never one thing at work," Tony Payan, Director of the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, told Newsweek. "Those who were waiting in Mexico are being let in, the flow is less, and the deportees are being processed more efficiently."
While Payan said the initial wave was a crisis for government officials, he sees the "learning curve" of responding to the process being overcome. While on a teaching trip to Juárez, Payan told Newsweek the city had become calmer, with fewer migrants on the streets. He attributes part of this to the new handling of deportations. Marisa Garza, deputy director of the Hope Border Institute in the El Paso-Juárez area, noticed this as well.
6 Humanitarian Groups Recommending Which Asylum Seekers Come Into U.S. Until July 31
The Biden administration established an agreement with six humanitarian groups to approve asylum seekers to come into the U.S. until July 31, when the groups hope the administration will lift the public health rules.The government hopes to bring in 250 asylum-seekers a day who are referred by these groups. So far, 800 asylum seekers have been allowed into the U.S. since May 3. Members of the humanitarian groups said there is more demand than they could meet.
Under Title 42, migrants expelled from Texas were dropped off in Juárez, some coming to the area by plane. Garza told Newsweek she witnessed these drop offs, known as lateral transfers, for almost eight weeks, with roughly 100 people coming each day. These individuals joined the stream of migrants who were already making the journey from Southern Mexico and Central America, which forced the shelters to make a hard decision.
Video: Biden taps groups to help pick asylum-seekers to come to US (Associated Press)
"The question became very clear: Do you allow these people to face danger if they're left out in the street, or do you throw your COVID precaution to the wind," Garza told Newsweek. "At that point there wasn't infrastructure for that, but now there's better COVID testing and resources."
A temporary shelter that used to house expelled migrants staying in the city has since closed. Payan said the processing of expelled individuals has picked up to the point where they generally spend one or two nights in the city before making their journey back home.
Biden RETURNS $2billion set aside for Trump's border wall
The Biden administration is returning $2 billion set aside for Donald Trump's signature border wall and calling on Congress to cancel other funding, despite a surge in people trying to cross illegally. President Joe Biden suspended construction when he took power but his new plan falls short of canceling it altogether.Instead, it ends fast track provisions.'Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds,' said the White House Office of Management and Budget (O.M.B).
On the other end of the border in Tijuana, shelters are experiencing a similar phenomenon.
Dulce Garcia, executive director of Border Angels in San Diego, said lateral transfers to Tijuana also stopped. As a result of this change, hundreds of people no longer find themselves on the streets seeking shelter. One shelter now has capacity to take in 500 people.
In April,the stories of some of the asylum seekers staying at the El Chaparral migrant encampment near the San Diego-Tijuana border, where at one point more than 2,000 people lived. Garcia told Newsweek that people living in this encampment will eventually make their way to the city's open shelters.
As processing of asylum claims begin to go through, Border Angels remains focused on offering legal aid to those living in the shelters and encampment. However, as fatigue around the migrant situation continues to grow, the security of migrants and those providing legal consultations find themselves at risk.
Due to "security concerns," Dulce told Newsweek the organization was forced to switch their legal aid to remote consultations. Reuters reported on June 6 that a severed human head was thrown at a voting station in Tijuana. Plastic bags filled with body parts were also found nearby. While the reason for the intimidation tactic remained unconfirmed, the outlet reported violence tends to ramp up as gangs look to gain influence at the municipal level.
The U.S. Is Failing to Protect Pregnant Asylum Seekers | Opinion
The situation at the U.S. border presents an opportunity for the United States to reverse its track record.Instead of receiving critical maternal health care, she was transported back to Mexico where she gave birth. Like many women who are refused entry to the United States, Belkis and her baby now have limited access to essential health services in Mexico. In fact, many pregnant asylum seekers in Mexico pay out of pocket for childbirth. They need better health care options. But first and foremost, they should be able to access safety in the United States, by being allowed across the border to present their asylum cases.
Political officials face pressure to address the encampment. Some shopkeepers near the border say it detracts from the area and aim for its removal. Past threats of violence led the encampment to close its informal kitchen and school. Garcia said the pressure to address the situation could force migrants into the role of unwilling political props. She fears an organized disturbance could break out in the encampment in order to embarrass local politicians.
"There's a lot of people that don't want the encampment or migrants there," Garcia told Newsweek. "We're trying to get people to understand and discourage them from (staying in the encampment), to stay in those shelters, because it's not safe."
U.S. to admit asylum-seekers who had to wait in Mexico .
The Biden administration has been slowly processing asylum-seekers who were previously required to wait in dangerous border cities and squalid tent camps in Mexico.Asylum-seekers whose cases were terminated will also be eligible for admission starting Wednesday under this phase of the Biden administration's draw down of the Remain-in-Mexico program, which required 70,000 non-Mexican migrants to wait outside the U.S. for their court hearings.