Dozens of Cuban migrants protest at US-Mexico border, seek asylum

Dozens of Cuban migrants protest at US-Mexico border, seek asylum

Originally Published in The Hill

John Bowden - December 30, 2020

Dozens of Cuban migrants assembled near the U.S. port of entry between Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday demanding entry into the U.S. for the purpose of seeking asylum, Reuters reported.

The protest, which reportedly continued late into the night, involved as many as 200 people who walked up to the closed bridge separating El Paso and Juarez where they remained on the other side of a barrier for hours, according to Reuters.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed to The Hill that the protest ended and traffic on the bridge resumed around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Some of those who took part in the demonstration told Reuters that their anger resulted from being forced to wait in Mexico for nearly two years as part of the Trump administration's "remain in Mexico" policy for asylum-seekers, which forces many asylum-seekers to wait in temporary housing in Mexico for extended periods of time while their futures remain uncertain.

President-elect Joe Biden has in recent weeks vowed to send a bill during his first 100 days in office reforming the U.S. immigration system and rolling back many of the Trump administration's efforts to cut down on immigration, but members of his transition team have cautioned that much of the Trump administration's work will not be overturned overnight.

"We will be able to take some steps to change policies right away. Others will take time to put in place, and the situation at the border will not transform overnight due in large part to the damage done over the last four years," Biden's incoming domestic policy director, Susan Ricesaid in a recent interview. "But we are committed to addressing it in full."

A report released by the Department of Homeland Security in October called for significant reform to the U.S. immigration system, projecting in part that "until fundamental changes are made to the immigration enforcement process, including legislation that addresses current legal loopholes that incentivize high levels of illegal immigration, the United States will periodically experience additional humanitarian and border security crises."

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