SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Standing behind a fence at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, one could see a nondescript white bus surrounded by at least five U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicles.
There were about a dozen people inside the parked bus, some of them obviously children who jumped from seat to seat as they waited.
According to a CBP officer nearby, the passengers were about to be escorted into Mexico, something that’s become a daily occurrence at this border crossing.
The Mexican Consulate in San Diego says the people getting expelled are Mexican families who were detained in Texas or Arizona and then flown or driven to San Diego to be sent back to Mexico.
Critics say President Joe Biden is not giving these families a chance to ask for asylum and is taking on the unnecessary expense of flying people to Southern California for the expulsion process.
In some instances, it’s necessary because the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which borders the southern part of Texas, has stopped accepting most migrant families.
More than half of the apprehensions are taking place in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Once expelled into Tijuana, Mexican officers take the families to shelters. On average, 100 people are being returned to Mexico through Otay Mesa per day.
According to figures released by CBP, about 53,000 family members were apprehended last month, about the same number stopped during the same time period two years ago.
CBP issued a statement about the expulsions happening through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.
“The border is not open and CBP is still operating under Centers for Disease Control guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a CBP spokesperson. “CBP is making every effort to remain within CDC guidelines and mitigate long periods of processing and holding to minimize potential exposure to our workforce, those in custody, and the community. Once processing is complete, these individuals will be expeditiously transferred out of CBP custody.”