A group of asylum seekers waiting in Mexico is calling upon the incoming Biden administration to reverse President Trump’s signature policies on immigration, namely an end to the “Remain in Mexico Policy.”
The group spoke Tuesday at a virtual press conference organized by Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an immigration rights group known for organizing high-profile migrant caravans in Mexico and Central America.
“We are confident that in your new administration, many of the proposals that you have made in your campaign related to the defense of migrants, will be put into practice, as soon as possible,” the letter read.
The organizers noted that thousands of families have, for more than a year, been waiting at the border in dangerous areas while their asylum requests are being processed.
The letter requested the following items be included in Biden’s main agenda: open the U.S. border for asylum seekers, the elimination of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, waiting lists to apply for asylum, the separation of migrant families, guaranteed legal representation for asylum seekers, and the guaranteed right to request asylum – specifically for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and unaccompanied children.
“We are also committed to complying with the sanitary measures established for the protection of health, both for ourselves and for the citizens of the United States, without this paralyzing the asylum process,” the letter read. “We appreciate your attention to these requests, and we expect a favorable response within your first 100 days in office.”
The press conference in Tijuana comes just one day before Biden is set to inaugurated as the nation’s 47th president.
Meanwhile, a caravan of Honduran immigrants has been making its way to the United States. Some of its members have been interviewed saying their aim is to get to the U.S. to benefit from Biden’s pledge on the campaign trail to suspend deportations for 100 days after he takes office.
By Tuesday, the caravan had largely dissipated in the face of security forces in Guatemala. Small groups pressed on toward the Mexican border, while others accepted rides from authorities back to Honduras.
Buses carrying dozens of migrants and police patrol vehicles carrying handfuls arrived sporadically through the morning at the Guatemala-Honduras border crossing of El Florido. They were passed from Guatemalan border agents to their Honduran counterparts and then boarded buses that would take them back to their hometowns.
Some 25 miles into Guatemala where hundreds of migrants had been stalled at a roadblock in Vado Hondo for several days, traffic flowed smoothly Tuesday and few migrants remained. Guatemala’s immigration authorities reported that through Monday more than 2,300 migrants had been returned to Honduras.
If Guatemala’s government had indeed dissolved the year’s first caravan, it would be a relief to the incoming U.S. administration. Biden has promised immigration reform, but for now plans to leave Trump-era border policies in place fearing a surge of migrants when he takes office.
Fox News has reached out to Biden’s transition with a request for comment.
A Biden transition official told NBC News on Sunday that migrants expected a sudden change of immigration policies in the United States under a Biden administration are likely to be disappointed.
They “need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the U.S. immediately,” he said.
Biden’s Secretary of State nominee Anthony Blinken echoed those sentiments on Tuesday. When asked what he would say to migrants headed to the U.S. in a Caravan, he said: “I would say do not come.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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