Tijuana ‘going on alert’ over asylum seekers


FILE – In this Sept. 26, 2019 file photo, asylum seekers, in Tijuana, Mexico, listen to names being called from a waiting list to claim asylum at a border crossing in San Diego. A federal appeals court has temporarily halted a major Trump administration policy to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. immigration courts. A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 in a 2-1 vote to put on hold the policy that furthered President Donald Trump’s asylum crackdown. (AP Photo/Elliot Spagat, File)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Tijuana’s Mayor Arturo Gonzalez Cruz said his city is going “on alert” getting ready for the possibility of thousands of asylum seekers rushing to border crossings along the San Diego-Tijuana border as early as this week.

“It’s a theme we might possibly see by this Wednesday or Thursday, we are analyzing it to see how we will activate our public safety resources, not only on the municipal but the state and federal levels,” said Mayor Gonzalez.

The mayor admitted he doesn’t know for certain if it will happen.

The belief is that if federal courts in the United States overturn President Trump’s mandate to force asylum seekers to wait out their cases in Mexico, these asylum seekers and many others will try to rush through the border to get into the U.S.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Wednesday that starting Thursday, it would only block the “Remain in Mexico” policy in Arizona and California, the two border states under its authority unless the Supreme Court steps in sooner.

The Trump administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court, which has consistently ruled in the administration’s favor on immigration policies, to intervene and wants the policy to stay in effect until Thursday to give the high court time to decide.

In late 2018, thousands of migrants arrived in Tijuana planning to force their way north of the border to ask for asylum. The city was not ready for the crush of people who ended up stranded on the streets requiring housing, meals and medical attention for the long term.

The city of Tijuana was forced to care for the migrants. And police officers were ordered to patrol shelters and migrant camps diverting them from neighborhoods already plagued by high crime.

Several shelters are still in operation along the border just south of San Diego.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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