Saturday, February 20, 2021

U.S. admits first group of asylum-seekers as Biden rolls back Remain-in-Mexico policy

As part of its efforts to wind down a Trump-era policy that kept tens of thousands of asylum-seekers outside U.S. territory, the Biden administration on Friday admitted the first group of migrants who had been previously required to wait in Mexico for their immigration court hearings. U.S. border officials processed 25 Latin American asylum-seekers at the San Ysidro port of entry in southern California and allowed them to stay in the country for the duration of their proceedings. The Jewish Family Service of San Diego received the asylum applicants, who were required to test negative for the coronavirus, and transported them to a hotel in the area so they could quarantine, according to the non-profit's chief executive officer, Michael Hopkins. The group included six families and five individuals from Honduras, Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Cuba.An estimated 25,000 people could be eligible for phase 1 of the process, but the number of asylum-seekers that will be admitted during this stage will likely be less as many migrants with pending U.S. cases left Mexico and returned to their home countries. The U.S. is set to start processing more eligible asylum-seekers in the Texas' Rio Grande Valley on Monday and in El Paso later next week. Once fully operational, ports of entry at these initial locations are expected to process roughly 300 migrants per day...MORE 

The Biden administration is requiring all migrants to test negative for the coronavirus at staging locations in Mexico before being allowed into the U.S. Asylum-seekers who test positive will need to isolate in Mexico for 10 days. After completing that isolation period and not experiencing fever for 24 hours, those individuals could again be considered to enter the U.S., the State Department said Thursday.

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