Thousands of Cubans try to enter the U.S. at a border now practically closed off to them

Cubans make up the largest number of migrants in Mexico trying to obtain asylum in the United States. But policy changes in the Obama and Trump administrations have made it harder for Cubans fleeing the island. By

Matamoros, Mexico

The improvised campsite just steps from the U.S.-Mexico border holds about a dozen tents and 150 people, including a dozen children and two pregnant women.

Central Americans, Haitians, Cubans and Venezuelans vie for a shady spot under two trees at a small park in the city of Matamoros on the Mexican side of the border. They eat thanks to the charity of churches and other aid organizations. They bathe and wash their clothes in the Rio Grande, which separates the two nations. They also use the river as an alternative to the five portable toilets in the park.

Long lists of papers taped to window panes hold the names of thousands of migrants waiting their turn to ask for U.S. asylum. The largest number of asylum seekers by far are Cubans, followed by Venezuelans and Nicaraguans. Many Central Americans believe they don’t have a good chance of winning asylum and prefer to try to swim across the river.

*story by The Miami Herald