In the last three years, Europe has erected border fences, closed ports, and paid Libya to warehouse migrants. While stemming migration to Europe, these policies have had dark consequences for migrants. Africans fleeing war and poverty are taking escape routes that subject them to kidnapping, sexual abuse, squalor, and raging civil wars. They cross war-torn Yemen on foot to get to Saudi Arabia and are herded into camps in Libya, where more than 50 died in a recent airstrike. In Libya, migrants have become “a money factory” for the Libyan Coast Guard, aid workers, and criminal gangs. The U.S. has followed Europe's lead, outsourcing asylum-seekers to Latin America, where along the US-Mexico border migrants are living in limbo, unable to go home or to move forward.
A series of Trump Administration immigration rule changes have effectively sealed the border to the vast majority of asylum seekers, leaving tens of thousands of migrants in limbo, and shifting responsibility for U.S. immigration policy to the Mexican government and dozens of Mexican shelters.
In Juarez, a cobbled-together community of migrants is trapped by U.S. policies in an immigration purgatory. Associated Press reporters Tim Sullivan and Cedar Attanasio spent a week in their world.