The US government had the first group of asylum seekers cross the border on Friday. A total of 25 asylum seekers crossed the border between the Mexican city of Tijuana and the American city of San Diego, an official from the Mexican immigration service INM confirmed. The government thus breaks with the restrictive immigration policy under ex-President Donald Trump.
Other asylum seekers with pending proceedings for their hearings will come to the United States in the coming days. They can stay in the US for the duration of their procedure.
Until now, asylum seekers in Mexico had to wait for a decision on their asylum application. They often ended up stuck in tent camps on the southern border with the US for months. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, 25,000 asylum seekers are currently under investigation.
Asylum seekers with pending procedures will be able to register via the internet from the beginning of next week. They are then given a time and location where they can potentially cross the border. But there was still some confusion about the procedure on Friday.
Between 150 and 200 people came to the El Chaparral border crossing, between Tijuana and San Diego, hoping to enter the US. They also included some who had not yet applied for asylum to the United States at all and therefore have no chance of entering the country.