Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Biden Ends Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Rule, and a Border Camp Empties

Hundreds of refugees start crossing into Texas in a major change in U.S. immigration policy.

The camp in Matamoros, Mexico, on Feb. 24.

The camp in Matamoros, Mexico, on Feb. 24.

Photographer: Cesar Rodriguez/Bloomberg


For 10 months, Francisco Caal lived with hundreds of other asylum seekers in a tent city across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, forced by former President Donald Trump to wait there for the U.S. government to decide his fate.

He’d fled Guatemala with his wife, Jeannethe Trujillo, he says, after he endured death threats and a bullet in the gut, the couple fearing for their lives. But when they reached the U.S. border and asked for asylum, immigration agents turned them back because of the Trump administration’s 2019 “Remain in Mexico” policy for asylum seekers. They waited and worried in a squalid limbo, spending their days inside a home made from ragged tarps lashed to the camp’s chain-link fence, all with a view of U.S. soil, just 70 feet away.