TIJUANA (Border Report) — Enrique Lucero Vázquez, the new head of the migrant outreach office with the city of Tijuana, conducted a survey at the migrant campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry and discovered the demographics have completely changed from when the camp first sprung up eight months ago.
According to Lucero Vázquez, the number of residents has been pegged at 1,600. Now, instead of mostly migrants from Central American and Haiti, the vast majority of the people living in the tents are from the Mexican states of Michoacán, Guerrero y Veracruz.
He also stated the city has taken up plans to open a shelter in downtown Tijuana and move the migrants to that location.
A similar idea had been in the works when the previous administration secured a lease with the property owner, but the incoming mayor had not agreed to honor the contract and the project stalled.
Now the idea is back on the table as the new mayor, Montserrat Caballero Ramírez, has said the shelter is something that needs to get done.
The facility’s exact location and timeline for opening has not been released.
“This is one of the priorities for the new administration, so that they, for once and for all, have a clear understanding where their future lies as they pursue their migration,” said Lucero Vázquez.
Since the camp first began to shape up in February, many in the area have complained the asylum seekers have been bad for businesses at places such as pharmacies and liquor stores as well as other shops meant for tourists.
There has also been concerns over health and safety issues, not only for the migrants, but residents in the area.
And, a large portion of the campsite sits on a plaza that is an entry and exit point for Ped West, one of the pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro Port of Entry that has been closed for most of the pandemic.
It’s been said several times by the Mexican federal government, the migrants and the site has to be cleared in order for the border to completely reopen in the future.