SAN DIEGO (CBSLA) — Rep. Nanette Barragán traveled to the border this week to see for herself that more families seeking asylum in the U.S. are being allowed entry at the San Ysidro point of entry in San Diego.
Thousands of asylum seekers had been forced to wait in Mexico for years under the Migrant Protection Protocols program, one of former President Trump’s most restrictive immigration policies. The policy had required people seeking refuge in the U.S. to wait on the Mexico side of the border while their cases are decided.READ MORE: Report: Court Rules Vanessa Bryant Can Obtain Names Of LASD Deputies Accused Of Sharing Crash Site Photos
Barragán, chairwoman of the House Border Security committee, said she had seen last year the “horrific” living conditions people seeking asylum in the U.S. were forced to return to in Mexico in Matamoros.
One of the families Barragán watched make entry was a family with two young girls, ages 3 and 6. The family had been in the MPP program for 14 months.
“It was impossible for me not to cry. It was so emotional to see these families coming in,” Barragán said in a video she posted on Twitter.READ MORE: Officials: 6 In Critical Condition After Stolen Vehicle Pursuit Ends In Multi-Vehicle Crash
President Joe Biden had pledged to rescind the MPP program, which denied entry to more than 65,000 asylum seekers. The Biden Administration estimates only 25,000 still have active immigration court cases.
Asylum seekers must have an appointment before they can cross the border, and they must submit to a COVID-19 test before quarantining in a local hotel.
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who represents parts of San Diego and Riverside counties, slammed the Biden Administration’s move to ease immigration policies.
“The Biden Administration’s decision to escort 25,000 migrants into this country during a global pandemic is reckless and ill-conceived,” he said in a statement.MORE NEWS: Authorities Find Silvia Ochoa De Hernandez, Woman Who Went Missing In South Gate
Two more ports of entry in Texas will also begin allowing entry to asylum seekers this coming week. The Biden Administration says they expect to eventually process 300 people per day at the ports.