BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Thousands have been waiting for years in camps across the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, as the Migrant Protection Protocols program (MPP) required those who filed for asylum to wait in Mexico until the date of their hearings.
The Biden Administration is allowing up to 30 people a day to cross into the United States through three ports of entry: Brownsville, California, and El Paso.
Congressman Henry Cuellar told KVEO the date to apply for the MPP has been pushed back and an exact date has not yet been released.
Cuellar said there are 25,000 individuals who are eligible to apply for the MPP program.
“Usually 88% of them are going to be rejected and only 12% are going to be accepted,” said Cuellar. “My question is why are we letting people in for a hearing that might be one or two years in the future?.”
Those coming into the United States will first have background checks done and be tested for COVID-19, according to BoderReport.com. People crossing will only be allowed to cross if they receive a negative COVID-19 test.
A local non profit organization is trying to help and prepare asylum seekers for the the next chapter in their lives.
The sidewalk school has worked to ensure the children living at the camps in Matamoros continue to learn and grow while waiting to cross.
Co-founder Felicia Rangel Samponaro said her organization has been determined to teach not only kids but adults English since 2018.
Samponaro said the asylum hearings are done in English, so she teaches the asylum seekers how to write, read and speak English five days a week.
“I never thought I would see any of this in my life and I have witnessed horrific things and I get to go home every day in the U.S,” said Samponaro. “I get to cross while these people have to stay and suffer.”
Samponaro said she feels President Joe Biden has kept his promise when it comes to helping migrants across the border.