SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — With COVID-19 cases in California, Arizona and Texas continuing to rise, several Mexican governors from states in Northern Mexico are asking their country’s foreign relations secretary to make it tougher for Americans to enter Mexico for non-essential reasons.
“Every person who doesn’t need to be crossing the border into Mexico should not cross,” said Tamaulipas Governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca.
A few days ago, Garcia took part in a teleconference involving Mexican governors who are growing more and more concerned that COVID-19 is infiltrating their states as a result of Americans bringing the virus with them.
One of them is Sonara’s Gov. Claudia Pavlovich who announced her state, which borders Arizona and a bit of New Mexico, would take on measures to prevent Americans from venturing into Mexico to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
Pavlovich also reached out to U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau asking him to get involved.
Landau put out a message on social media reminding people to avoid traveling unless it was necessary.
“Whatever side of the border you may live, this is not the moment to cross to go shopping, to go eat or to visit your family on the other side,” Landau said.
“If American citizens continue to make casual trips across the border, restrictions will increase, not decrease,” Landau said.
In other places, such as Tijuana, Baja California, just south of San Diego, residents are overwhelmingly asking for more restrictions to be placed on Americans heading south.
San Diego County’s latest numbers show 16,726 COVID-19 cases while the city of Tijuana, just south of the border, has reported less than 20% of that number, with 3,020 cases.
A recent poll taken by El Imparcial, a news agency based in Tijuana, on Twitter showed 84% of the 267 people who responded want southbound border crossings restricted even further — to the point of closing the border.
Right now only citizens, legal residents and essential workers are allowed to cross in both directions, but Mexican Customs in Tijuana doesn’t fully enforce these rules.
People are now asking their government officials to start enforcing the guidelines.
“Totally understandable. I lost three relatives in Spain and I’m originally from here. It’s totally understandable,” said Toni Burton, who commutes across the border for work.
Burton says she understands why there is growing concern in Mexico but doesn’t believe adding further restrictions is the answer.
“We need to be safer, people need to be safer, it’s up to us,” she said.