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Cuban asylum seeker Joel Fernandez Cabrera, shares his experience of living at the migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico on Feb. 24, 2021. Approximately 800 asylum seekers in the camp were restricted from exiting to prevent others that live in the city to go in and skip the line in being processed into the U.S.
The Texas Tribune-ProPublica Investigative Unit

The people we left behind: How closing a dangerous border camp adds to inequities

The Biden administration shuttered a migrant tent camp in Mexico that was created under a Trump policy. Immigration advocates praised the move, but the closure adds to growing confusion over which migrants are let in or left out.

by Lomi Kriel, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica
The closed-down migrant camp is seen in Matamoros, Mexico on Feb. 24, 2021. Approximately 800 asylum seekers in the camp were restricted from exiting to prevent others that live in the city to go in and skip the line in being processed into the U.S.

“Too much chaos”

Asylum seekers wearing face shields make their way to be processed in the U.S. at the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico on Feb. 26, 2021.
El Salvadoran asylum seeker Vilma Vasquez, 55, passes her time in a tent where she has lived for nearly two years at a migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico on Feb. 24, 2021. Her daughter, then 15, crossed as an unaccompanied minor in November of 2019 because she was feeling sick constantly at the encampment. They had been sent back to continue with their asylum cases in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols, MPP, that the Trump Administration had implemented.
Guatemalan asylum seeker Jorge Mario Gonzalez, 52, shows his scars from a surgery he had after being shot in his country at the bus station in Brownsville, Texas on Feb. 25, 2021. Gonzalez says that he had been shot near the ribs and the bullet went through his body affecting a nerve and as a result, he needs crutches to walk. He and his wife were sent back to Mexico to wait for their asylum cases to be decided in the U.S. in July of 2019 under the Migrant Protection Protocols, MPP. They lived in the city but due to financial issues, they had been living at the migrant camp for nearly a year. They were among the first group to be processed into the U.S.

Left behind

Marlen D. Cruz, 42, an asylum seeker from Honduras, cries as she shares her story of why she left her country in a bedroom that a friend who is also an asylum seeker shares with her in Matamoros, Mexico on Feb. 26, 2021.

Desperation remains

Valery Sanchez, 19, left, talks to her friend Natasha Mayorquin, 24, both asylum-seeking transgender women from Honduras, at Rainbow Bridge, a shelter where they live in Matamoros, Mexico on Feb. 26, 2021. Both of them lived at the migrant camp and because they feared for their lives, they moved to the shelter that is for LGBTQ asylum seekers where they can be safer.

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