Cuban migrants protest on the Mexican border and search entry into the US from Reuters

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© Reuters. Cuban migrants block the Paso del Norte border crossing bridge in Ciudad Juarez

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By Jose Luis Gonzalez

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – Dozens of Cubans protested at the US border in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez on Tuesday evening, demanding that they be allowed to cross and apply for asylum in the US.

US authorities, including police in anti-riot gear, sealed the bridge leading to El Paso, Texas, with a concrete barrier covered with barbed wire.

A recording boomed from a loudspeaker warning that anyone who crossed could be arrested.

Around 200 migrants who had walked as far as the barrier stayed there until late in the evening.

Jonathan Castro, 25, said he spent a year and eight months in Mexico after trying to apply for asylum in the United States and was ready to protest at the bridge all night.

Like many other Cubans, he was sent back across the border as part of the Remain in Mexico program – a key element of US President Donald Trump’s tough policy of curbing migration by allowing asylum seekers to await their procedures in Mexico.

“We are fed up with waiting,” he said, adding that the group formed at the border after it became known that US authorities were ready to allow them to cross.

Cuban migrant Rauvel Tejeda, who spent almost as long in Mexico under the same circumstances, said he was tired of the poor treatment by the Mexican police and wanted “a little help” from both Mexico and the United States.

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