On Saturday, March 21, the United States and Mexico partially closed their border in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, where life is defined by transnational movement, the decision completely altered the social and economic landscape.
Although the closure does not ban American citizens and permanent residents from crossing, the usual heavy flow has diminished to a trickle.
Many would-be crossers are staying home in compliance with social distancing recommendations. Many others are scared that the Trump administration could completely close the border without notice, leaving them stranded on the other side.
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