Tijuana is starting to move migrants from the border campsite

TIJUANA (Border report) – The city of Tijuana has begun relocating families out of the migrant campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Crews helped migrants load their bicycles, strollers, guitars and other personal belongings onto the backs of several city vehicles.

They were moved to a new shelter that has been set up to accommodate migrants.

Enrique Lucero is the head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office. (Jorge Nieto / Special for Border Report)

“We were working to convince them,” said Enrique Lucero, director of the Tijuana Migrant Affairs Office. “We told them that the place has some rules, but that it will provide free meals, counseling, education services for the children and legal assistance.”

So far, 11 families have agreed to move out of the camp, which has been active for about eight months.

“It was very difficult here,” Miguel Cuevas said. “When you went, you were always worried about the family, now we can go to work in peace and not have to worry about anything with the help we get.”

Cuevas, his wife and four children had been in the camp for three months and said he sees this move as a fresh start for his family.

Miguel Cuevas agreed to move his family to a new shelter and away from the migrant campsite at the border. (Courtesy: City of Tijuana)

“The idea is to find more shelters because this one can only handle about 160 migrants because we’ll have to move everyone out,” Lucero said.

According to a recent survey conducted last month, 769 migrants remain in the camp, including 316 minors.

“Fifty-one percent are from Mexico, 38 percent are from Honduras, 10 percent from El Salvador with a further 10 percent from Guatemala,” Lucero said.

Many of the migrants have said they do not want to move out of the camp for fear that they will not be allowed to seek asylum if the United States opens its borders.

A recent study found that 769 migrants, including 316 minors, remain at the border campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. (Courtesy: City of Tijuana)

The migrants believe that by being close to the border they have established their place in the queue.

“We have told them that no matter where they are, the asylum process is not conditional on the place that they can seek asylum from anywhere in the city … we have tried to convince them that they will get legal help on shelter to help them if asylum is made available to migrants, ”Lucero said.

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