MATAMOROS, TAMAULIPAS (ABC News).- Most U.S. border towns, from Texas to California, thrive on a healthy relationship with their Mexican counterparts. Goods and labor flow back and forth, helping tourism and the economy on both sides. But in the last decade, those relationships have been strained and tensions have grown.
The Migrant Protection Program, or MPP, was created during the Trump administration. Thousands of migrants requesting asylum were sent back to Mexico to wait for their appointments or court hearings, resulting in the creation of a large-scale tent city in Matamoros, Mexico. The camp was only for migrant families and was fenced off to the general public — even the media couldn’t get inside.
The migrants running the location set up a cooking area, a place to bathe and use the restroom, and even a play area for children. It was safe and orderly. Once MPP was discontinued, the camp was eventually shut down.
As the end of Title 42 creeps closer, a new camp has flourished in Matamoros. Over the last six months, thousands have flocked to the Mexican border town, staging near the Rio Grande River and preparing to cross when the time is right. We traveled over the International Bridge into Matamoros, Mexico, with Pastor Abraham Barberi, a local minister associated with One Mission Ministries.
Title 42 is a Trump-era policy implemented during the pandemic that allows border patrol agents to expel migrants without allowing them to seek asylum but it does not come with consequences.
“At times, it’s overwhelming. And I’ve wanted to quit. It’s been going on too long and it’s just difficult,” he said. “I wake up in the morning many times and I think … I’m done. I’m tired. It’s not just that … it’s just feeling like you can’t do anything.”
And yet, several times a week he’s in the camp delivering food or water and ministering to people. Within minutes we run into a young mother, Lucia Gomez, and her 2-year-old daughter from Venezuela.
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Source.- ABC News