Migrants from Mexico, not Central America, overwhelming border shelters in Tijuana


Migrants are seen on Saturday, April 24, 2021, outside a shelter holding 700 asylum-seekers who have been deported in Tijuana, Mexico. (Courtesy Photo)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Shelters in Tijuana, just south of San Diego, are reporting that they are at capacity handling migrants who have arrived in this border town in recent months.

This has been the case since June.

But now, their demographics have changed and the majority of people in their facilities are from Mexico and not Central America, according to José María García Lara, coordinator for the Migrant Alliance in Tijuana.

“This has been building for quite some time. There’s so many people coming by and there’s no room,” said García Lara. “When a family moves out, we can move another one in.”

He estimates that 60 percent of the migrants are Mexican and mostly from the states of Michoacan and Guerrero, people fleeing ongoing violence in those states brought on by cartels who are fighting over control of the avocado industry.

“If we keep seeing large groups of people being sent back from the United States and others coming from the interior of Mexico, we are really going to have a migratory crisis here,” said García Lara.

According to García Lara, the city’s 50 shelters are currently housing about 5,000 migrants. This is in addition to the more than 1,500 who have been camping out just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry for the last six months.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.