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Let Migrants In

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It should not be controversial that we should accept the world’s tired and poor. Just let these migrants into the nation.

More than 1,000 people who had been detained after crossing have been released into the country in recent days in a swift reversal from the Trump administration’s near shutdown of the border. Many more people are gathering on the Mexican side, aggravating conditions there and testing America’s ability and willingness to admit migrants during a pandemic.

New families every day have been collecting in Mexican border towns, sleeping in the streets, under bridges and in dry ditches, according to lawyers and aid groups working along the border. On Thursday in Mexicali, across from Calexico, Calif., desperate migrants could be seen trying to scale a border fence. A migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, just across a bridge from Texas, has boomed to 1,000 people over the past few weeks.

To guard against the coronavirus, health authorities in San Diego have arranged housing for hundreds of arriving migrants in a downtown high-rise hotel, where they are being quarantined before being allowed to join family or friends in the interior of the United States.

“There has been a significant increase in asylum seekers arriving, and we know that the numbers are only going to keep rising dramatically,” said Kate Clark, senior director for immigration services at Jewish Family Service of San Diego, which has been providing the families clothes and personal hygiene items and helping them arrange onward travel.

The surge poses the first major test of Mr. Biden’s pledge to adopt a more compassionate policy along America’s border with Mexico.

If changing our border policy makes ICE agents cry, all the better.

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