The United States began rolling back one of former President Donald Trump's most restrictive immigration policies on Friday, allowing in the first of thousands of asylum seekers who have been forced to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard.
President Joe Biden pledged during his campaign that he would immediately rescind the Trump policy, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) under which more than 65,000 mostly Central American asylum seekers were denied entry and sent back across the border pending court hearings. Most returned home but some stayed in Mexico in sometimes squalid or dangerous conditions, vulnerable to kidnapping and other violence.
Now they will be allowed into the United States to wait for their cases to be heard in immigration courts.
The effort started slowly on Friday at a port of entry in San Ysidro, California, where 25 MPP asylum seekers were allowed to enter the United States and will now quarantine in a local hotel, according to the non-profit organization Jewish Family Service of San Diego.
On the Tijuana side of the border crossing, about 300 migrants lined up in the morning, even as Mexican officials told them they would not be able to cross without registering ahead of time. Some had slept outside the previous night.