SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Tijuana officials are bracing for an increase in migrant deportations from the U.S. into their city.
The city’s director of migrant affairs, Enrique Lucero, said that historically Tijuana gets 40 percent of all migrant deportations and expulsions from the United States.
“You’re going to see a spike in this situation as we’re supposed to be getting foreign nationals expelled here in Tijuana, this is something new,” said Lucero.
Under an agreement with the United States, Mexico has agreed to accept people from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Title 8, now being used to process people, dictates migrants who lack a lawful basis to stay in the United States not be allowed to seek reentry into the U.S. for five years after being sent back unless they receive a legal pardon.
“They can stay here in Tijuana while serving their five-year ban from the U.S.,” Lucero said.
Lucero said Mexico is expecting about 1,000 migrants to be returned south of the border daily.
“The biggest border crossings always get the most migrants, here it’s going to be 40 percent,” he said.
Lucero also said his office and shelters are seeing asylum-seekers who once stayed at a makeshift migrant camp on U.S. soil between two border barriers just north of Tijuana.
He says as many as 3,000 asylum-seekers crossed the border into San Diego and have been picked up by Border Patrol agents in recent weeks.
“I expect 2,000 of them will be returned to Mexico in the coming weeks.”
Lucero worries many will end up on the streets since shelters in Tijuana are operating at or above capacity.
“If they are Mexican nationals, we will pay for their bus tickets so they can return to their hometowns if they choose to go back,” said Lucero. “If foreigners want to stay, we’ll support them with housing in shelters, work opportunities and legal documents to remain in Mexico.