The Migrant Protection Policy (MPP), also known as Remain in Mexico, was enacted by the Trump administration in 2019. The policy forces asylum seekers to wait for their asylum cases in Mexico. This has forced Mexico to take in a large number of immigrants. The Mexican government is stopping immigrants from crossing the Mexican-Guatemalan border and the U.S.-Mexican border. It is important to note, the U.S. pressured to impose tariffs on Mexico if they did not meet their demands. Many migrants affected by this policy are Central American, Cubans, Haitians, etc. Immigrants and their families have had to settle in northern Mexico creating refugee camps. Neither the U.S. nor Mexico has provided any support to migrants at the camps leaving them to rely on nonprofit organizations.

The camps

Many immigrants have been waiting in these camps for two years causing many to seek asylum in Mexico. Others in the camps continue to wait for access to asylum in the US. The camps have not yet been officially recognized as refugee camps. Meanwhile, MPP has endangered immigrants because they have reported kidnappings, sexual assault, and extortion. This has caused many to flee back to their country. Some migrants have sent their children to cross alone hoping they will be reunited with family members. Immigrants have been abandoned in Mexico which brings forth the question of whether they will ever be allowed into the U.S.

Furthermore, Global Response Management (GRM) has provided immigrants at the camp’s medical care. If their patients need more advanced care, they refer them to a hospital. Moreover, doctors seeking asylum in the U.S. have joined Global Response. Cuban Dr. Dairon Elisondo Rojas has joined GRM and is caring for children and adults. He was one of the first doctors to treat people at the camp. Dr.Rojas and his colleagues have made a difference in the life of immigrants. GRM has treated their wounds, provided them with care which immigrants would not have received anywhere else. Even with the pandemic, GRM has done a great job of educating migrants about how to protect themselves from the virus – only a few cases have been reported in the Matamoros camp.

Leaving Mexico

Even though living in the camps have been difficult for immigrants, they have regained their hope. With President-elect Biden taking office soon, migrants believe that they will soon be allowed to reenter the US. Members from Biden’s cabinet have said they will undo previous immigration policies. However, they say it will take time, and letting immigrants into the U.S. will be slow. In other words, migrants will have to keep waiting in the camps and who knows for how much longer.

Without a doubt, immigrants are very resilient. They are living in inhumane conditions and have waited two years hoping to someday live in the U.S. Of course, the wait has been difficult for a lot of migrants. Cuban migrants protested at the U.S.-Mexico border because they wanted to claim asylum in the US. Migrants are tired of waiting. It is unclear how the Biden administration will address migrants at the border and immigration as a whole. What is clear is that migrants need help and need to be allowed to wait in the U.S.  

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