The border city of Tijuana, near the long wall that separates Mexico from the United States, was in the final days of a three-year-old Covid-19 policy that barred people from seeking asylum.
The policy, known as Title 42, expires at midnight on May 11, prompting a rush of migrants to the border, now waiting to cross into the United States under black plastic or makeshift tents.
“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Enrique Lucero, Tijuana’s director of immigration affairs.
Activists say lines of migrants began forming this week in the city of Tijuana, which borders San Diego, California, hoping for a rush of asylum applications after May 11.
Some tried to cross illegally rather than wait.
The US insists that the end of Title 42 does not mean that the borders will be opened.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he would hold a video call with US President Joe Biden on Monday, with immigration one of the main topics to be discussed.
The Biden administration and Texas state government are sending reinforcements to the border to prepare for a possible increase in illegal immigration.
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