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Asylum Seekers Allowed to Enter The U.S. At San Ysidro Port Of Entry

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Rep. Nanette Barragan traveled to the border to see the entry of asylum seekers for herself. Jasmine Viel reports.

Video Transcript

Eight more asylum seekers were allowed into the US at the San Ysidro Point of Entry in San Diego. It's an effort to unwind one of former President Trump's most restrictive immigration policies that actually forced thousands to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard. KCAL 9's Jasmine Viel has more on what one local Congresswoman witnessed at the border today.

JASMINE VIEL: House Border Security Chairwoman, Nanette Barragán, traveled to the San Diego-Tijuana border today. As she says, she wanted to witness asylum seekers finally being allowed entry into the US where some had waited in Mexico for months, even years.

NANETTE BARRAGÁN: Here we have our first family unit. They're about to board this bus.

JASMINE VIEL: Democratic Congresswoman Nanette Barragán, who represents parts of Los Angeles including Compton and Carson, tweeted out videos and photos today of her visit to the San Ysidro point of entry where she says another 25 asylum seekers were granted entry into the US.

NANETTE BARRAGÁN: It was impossible for me not to cry. It was so emotional to see these families coming in.

JASMINE VIEL: She shared this photo of a family from Guatemala as they entered the US with their three-year-old daughter. She says they were in the Migrant Protection Program for about 14 months. New directives under the Biden administration no longer require migrants in that program to remain in Mexico until their immigration cases are decided. Now, they will be allowed into the US to wait for their cases to be heard in immigration courts.

NANETTE BARRAGÁN: This is the other side of when I was here last time when I saw a man and his son trying to present themselves for asylum and were basically told to go back and get on a list.

JASMINE VIEL: President Joe Biden pledged during his campaign that he would immediately rescind the Trump policy under which more than 65,000 asylum seekers were denied entry and sent back across the border pending court hearings. The Biden administration estimates that only 25,000 still have active immigration court cases. Barragán says those who stayed in Mexico were vulnerable to violence.

NANETTE BARRAGÁN: Which was a completely horrible, inhumane program where people were living in dangerous conditions.

JASMINE VIEL: Only those with appointments are allowed to cross. They have to get tested for COVID and will quarantine in local hotels. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, who represents parts of San Diego and Riverside County, said in a statement the Biden administration's decision to escort 25,000 migrants into this country during a global pandemic is reckless and ill conceived. The Biden administration says they expect to eventually process 300 people per day at the ports.

I'm Jasmine Viel, KCAL 9 News.