TIJUANA (Border Report) — About 285 migrants from Venezuela have been expelled from the U.S. into the city of Tijuana since late last week, according to the local Migrant Affairs Office, which is expecting an average of 200 more per day in the coming weeks.
“Our shelters are bursting at maximum capacity,” said Enrique Lucero, director of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office. “On a daily basis, 300 Mexican migrants are expelled into our city, with 200 more per day coming from Venezuela, plus the migrants that arrive daily from the south, it’s going to be a very difficult situation.”
Mexican federal law mandates migrants be housed and fed, according to Mexico’s Migration Institute, and Lucero said the city will do its best to accommodate everyone within Tijuana’s network of shelters, which number 26.
“I can’t figure out what to do, I have no money, don’t know anyone in Tijuana,” said a woman from Venezuela who was expelled from the U.S. on Friday.
As tears cascaded down her cheek, the woman stated that before she was expelled, she was hoping to get to the Bay Area in Northern California, where she has relatives.
Others like her were also left to fend for themselves.
“Simply put, they turned us over like a piece of trash,” said one male migrant. “They turned us over to Mexican immigration without any information or direction.”
The man said staying at a shelter was not appealing to him, adding that U.S. Customs and Border Protection should have let him go in the first place like it has with other migrants from Venezuela.
“I have a cousin in Texas, I also had a job lined up in Florida, but now I’m here,” he said.
Mexico has agreed to take in Venezuelan migrants expelled from the U.S. under Title 42.
The health directive issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Trump Administration remains in effect prohibiting migrants from entering the U.S. as a way to protect the American public from the COVID-19 virus.
“These aren’t migrants who have crossed the border in this region,” said Lucero. “They crossed the border in New Mexico or Yuma, Arizona but will be expelled through our port of entry.”