MATAMOROS, Mexico — Enda Marisol Rivera and Vilma Consuelo Vasquez sat at a rickety wooden table under tattered tarps, peeling the bananas they were eating for breakfast and talking about the nerves they had woken up with this morning.
The two women have been living for months in a squalid tent camp full of people hoping to gain asylum status in the United States.
“In the name of God, we hope Biden wins,” said Ms. Rivera, who has been at the camp for seven months. “It’s not safe here.”
The camp is a testament to the fact that President Trump has shut the door to America to large swaths of prospective migrants. The residents of the camp are among many foreign nationals who are watching the election results with much at stake.
With no television available, people in the camp walked around clutching cellphones for news. Some had radios.
A couple of tents away, Luis Ramos, 26, from Honduras, sat on a water jug outside his tent, wearing shorts and a black T-shirt that said, “Do All Things With Love.” His black socks were becoming caked with dirt as he bounced his legs nervously.
“We’re all watching to see what happens,” he said, his eyes red with tears. “Today is the day that will define who gets to stay and who gets to go. Trump’s policies put us here. They have been bad for us in every way.”
Mr. Ramos said he had struggled to sleep the night before on the stiff cot inside his tent, thinking about the American election. He said he planned to spend the day in one of his neighbors’ tents, where they could crowd around the cellphones of people who had enough money to pay for a day’s worth of internet service, in order to monitor the election results.
“Today is our only hope,” he said.
People in the camp were planning to gather around 7 p.m. to watch the late night results come in. Some people were calling the event a party, others a vigil. Many were in touch with relatives in the United States.
“We’re a village here,” said Sandra Andrade, 43, from El Salvador.
Maria Guardado, 43, from Progreso, Honduras, said she was cautiously optimistic that Joseph R. Biden Jr. would be able to help her leave the camp — if he were to win the race for president. She stuck her hand into a makeshift stove she was using to make rice for breakfast, jumbling scraps of wood to stoke the flame. Her 15-year-old son was still asleep inside their tent. She said the two of them would keep their eyes glued to their phones all day, hoping for news of a Biden win.
She felt good about the fact that Mr. Biden’s wife had visited the camp last year, with many Latinos as part of her delegation. But she added that she was also realistic. “Politicians are politicians,” she said.
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