Afraid to continue living in Juarez, dozens of asylum-seekers gathered at the base of the Paso Del Norte Bridge across from Downtown El Paso after news spread that a federal appeals court ruled that the government can no longer make them wait in Mexico.
The group of about 150 prompted U.S. Customs and Border Protection to block to bridge. Officers in riot gear set up blockades and concertina wire.
The migrants, mostly Cubans, have been waiting in Mexico as their asylum cases to play out in U.S. immigration courts. They’ve been forced there as part of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, which is commonly known as “Remain in Mexico.”
On Friday morning, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco temporarily halted the policy. However, the panel voted unanimously Friday evening to suspend its order.
The Cuban migrants reportedly asked officials to let them cross to El Paso because most of them are afraid to continue living in Juárez because of the violence.