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Haitian migrants bound for the United States resting on a road in Mexico
The controversial program is considered inhumane. Photo: @diariopanorama

'Stay in Mexico': The first migrants arrive in Ciudad Juárez

The first groups of migrants part of the reactivation of the Trump admin program began to arrive on Mexican soil.

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The presidents of the United States and Mexico, Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, reached an agreement in November to reestablish the Trump era 'Stay in Mexico' program, which requires asylum seekers to remain on Mexican soil while their immigration situation is resolved in the United States.

The Biden administration, which was forced to restore the measure following a lawsuit from Texas and Missouri, said it has worked closely with the Mexican government to ensure that there are appropriate shelters for migrants that are subject to these protocols. It's a situation that seems far from resolved in according statements from authorities in Ciudad Juárez authorities upon the arrival of people under the program on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The first arrivals

Two men, one Nicaraguan and the other from Honduras, became the first migrants subject to the 'Stay in Mexico' program to arrive at the Lerdo International Bridge, located between the Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, Texas border.

The two subjects, led by officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office, as well as the Mexican National Guard, arrived at the immigration offices where they were tested for COVID-19 and later taken to an area with portable tents. Officials from the International Organization for Migration, IOM, assured that they would then be transferred to a public shelter.

Figures

According to a study by the University of Texas, it is estimated that more than 26,500 petitioners will reach eight Mexican border cities as part of these Migrant Protection Protocols, MPP.

In 2021, the Mexican government intercepted 228,115 migrants and deported 82,627, the majority from Central American countries and Haiti. Likewise, a record number of 123,000 people have processed asylum applications in Mexico so far this year.

According to the IOM, which has publicly urged to end this program as soon as possible, Ciudad Juárez is also staring down the barrel of an 85% bed capacity in its shelters. It is expected that between 30 and 40 people will arrive in the city per day.

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