TIJUANA (Border Report) — In recent weeks, portable bathrooms and showers have gone up at the migrant campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana.
So have the complaints and the level of frustration among migrants living at the site, now an estimated 1,500 people.
Baja California health officials say COVID-19 cases are also on the upswing at the camp and have made another plea with asylum-seekers to vacate the area for health and safety reasons.
But as the camp enters its third month, people like Nicolas Diego, who is from Guatemala, say they are not going anywhere.
Like the others, Diego believes the Biden administration will eventually allow them into the U.S. in spite of the fact the White House has insisted only asylum-seekers with pending cases, who registered under the Migrant Protection Protocols period, will be able to cross the border.
Diego is not part of the MPP program.
Meantime, others at the camp are also demanding COVID-19 vaccinations. Previously, the state of Baja California had said migrants would get vaccinated after Tijuana’s general population was inoculated. But as of yesterday, migrants 60 and older were told they would be able to get the shots soon.
Health officials say it’s not just COVID-19 they are worried about, but other contagious diseases that are now showing up at the camp.
“There are not only COVID-19 outbreaks but other things such as chickenpox,” said Alonso Pérez Rico, Baja’s Secretary of Health.
When pressed for numbers, Pérez Rico could not provide them, although he said there have definitely been “contagions.”