“It’s been a year and five months that we don’t see each other. My daughter was born and I haven’t been able to meet her,” said Lazaro, a Cuban asylum seeker waiting in Juarez, Mexico. Thousands of asylum seekers continue to wait on the Mexico side of the border under the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), or “stay in Mexico” order — a Trump-era policy that the Biden administration is beginning to reverse. Lazaro and his wife, like many others, were separated when they tried to legally enter the U.S. and now await Lazaro’s case to be processed so they can hopefully reunite.
The MPP forced about 70,000 people seeking asylum to wait in Mexico between January 2019 and January 2020, when Biden suspended the policy on his first day in office. While some fled due to poor and dangerous living conditions in Juarez, others found alternate ways to enter the United States. Many continue to wait at the border in hopes they’ll be allowed to enter.
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