U.S.-Mexico border reopens after 20 months of COVID shutdown

Source: Reuters

TIJUANA/CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico, Nov 8 (Reuters) – There were fewer crossings at the Mexico-United States border than expected on Monday as it reopened to nonessential travel following a 20-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many residents staying home to avoid potential chaos.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Tijuana and Jose Luis Gonzalez in Ciudad Juarez Additional reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis.


Historic division of ‘the two Laredos’ ends with border reopening


Source: Al Jazeera

For almost  20 months, Lilia Brava had not seen her elderly mother who lived a few miles away across the US-Mexico border, which had been closed by US authorities to non-essential travel in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brava, a non-resident worker who cleans homes in Laredo, Texas, would not be allowed to return if she crossed into Mexico to visit her family across the river. Even when her brother died of COVID-19 in Nuevo Laredo last year, she could not attend the funeral with her mum.


US-Mexico border crossing arrests reach record highs: Reports

Source: Al Jazeera

US authorities reportedly detained 1.7 million migrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border this fiscal year – marking an all-time high and highlighting the deepening political and humanitarian challenges the Biden administration is facing on immigration.

The figures apply for the 2021 fiscal year, which began last October, and were first reported by the Washington Post, and later confirmed by the Reuters news agency.


Trump’s Pentagon Chief Quashed Idea to Send 250,000 Troops to the Border


Source: The New York Times

President Trump’s defense secretary thought the idea was outrageous.

In the spring of 2020, Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary, was alarmed to learn of an idea under discussion at a top military command and at the Department of Homeland Security to send as many as 250,000 troops — more than half the active U.S. Army, and a sixth of all American forces — to the southern border in what would have been the largest use of the military inside the United States since the Civil War.


US-Mexico border prepares as vaccinated travelers can enter US starting Nov. 8.

Source: CBS8

The U.S. will lift travel restrictions on Nov. 8 making it possible for travelers outside the country to enter for the first time since the start of the pandemic. This new travel system will require vaccinated foreign air travelers to show proof of full vaccination and test for COVID-19. Also starting on Nov. 8th fully vaccinated people can cross the Mexico and Canada border for nonessential travel. In early January, those traveling for essential purposes will be required to show proof of full vaccination. 

The opening of the Mexico border for nonessential tourism is a huge win for San Ysidro where 86% of their customers come from Mexico. 


The U.S. will reopen its land borders for fully vaccinated travelers


Source: The New York Times

The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions at the borders with Canada and Mexico starting in November for fully vaccinated travelers, reopening the doors of the United States to tourists and separated family members who have been sealed out of the country during the pandemic.

Foreign travelers who provide proof of vaccination and are looking to visit families or friends or shop in the United States will be allowed to enter, senior administration officials said on Tuesday, weeks after the administration said it would soon lift a similar sweeping restriction on foreigners traveling to the country from overseas.


After Pastor Evicts Nearly 200 Migrants, His Brother Welcomes Them All

Source: New York Times

MATAMOROS, Mexico — Over the summer, as migrants rushed into the Mexican border city of Matamoros, a local pastor lost his patience.

The pastor, Víctor Barrientos, had already invited dozens of asylum seekers to live in his church, believing that was his religious duty as an evangelical Christian. But suddenly, it seemed to him, there were too many people. His guests were messy, he said, and “out of control” — and then, just as the pandemic’s third wave hit, they started getting the coronavirus.


US extends travel restrictions at Mexican and Canadian land borders as it makes plans to allow fully vaccinated foreign visitors to fly to America


Source: CNN

The United States is extending nonessential travel restrictions at land crossings with Canada and Mexico through October 21, even as it makes plans to allow fully vaccinated foreign visitors to come to the US later this year.

“We do not have any updates to the land border policies at this point. Title 19 is being extend for another month, as it is done on a monthly bases, through October 21, and as I said, no further updates on that policy at this point,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced Monday.


Biden must revive Trump-era Remain-in-Mexico program after Supreme Court ruling


Source: CBS News

The Supreme Court issued an order late Tuesday declining to stop the revival of a Trump-era border policy that requires asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are reviewed by U.S. immigration judges.

The high court’s conservative supermajority denied the Biden administration’s emergency request to continue the suspension of a federal judge’s order that requires U.S. border officials to reinstate the so-called “Remain-in-Mexico” program.


Trump border wall damaged by heavy flooding


Source: Yahoo! News

Maybe Mexico will pay for repairs?

Severe weather in southern Arizona appears to have damaged parts of the border wall erected by the Trump Administration. The Tucson Sentinel reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have confirmed “historic” flooding at the nation’s border with Mexico is to blame for the destruction. That appears to include several wide-open metal gates separated from their hinges and in some cases, stuck in mud and detritus.

Monsoons have sent thousands of gallons of floodwater into the area in recent days, threatening to break a record for rainfall that has stood since 1964.