TIJUANA (Border Report) — It’s been almost a year since the first migrants set up a campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry as a way to get in line should President Biden open the border.
As months went by, most survived in donated tents and enjoyed meals provided by churches and non-profits.
By the summer, the city of Tijuana brought in portable showers and bathrooms as the camp grew to nearly 2,000 migrants.
The state of Baja California provided basic health care and even vaccinated the migrants against COVID-19.
Initially, most of the people there were Central Americans with some families from Haiti.
Now, the demographics have changed, and most are Mexican nationals who have fled violence in the states of Guerrero and Michoacan.
A few months back, the city of Tijuana decided to wrap a fence around the encampment as a way to limit the number of people coming and going.
It was also seen as a measure to prevent more migrants from settling in.
Today, the numbers are down to just over 400 residents, as more and more of them leave on their own.
Migrants have also been given the option of moving to available shelters, given that the weather has turned cold and rainy in the San Diego-Tijuana region.
“I believe in just a few months the camp will be history,” said Alejandro Ruiz Uribe, a federal delegate representing the state of Baja California in Mexico City.
Ruiz Uribe stated that every day, there are fewer and fewer people at the campsite.
According to him, Mexico’s federal government is in a position to help finance a shelter away from the border that would provide meals and other necessities to the migrants.
The facility would be operated by the city of Tijuana.
“All we can do is to take charge of their care and provide meals, bedding and other materials they might need,” Ruiz Uribe said, adding that everything will be done peacefully with no one getting pushed out.
The area where the camp sits is part of a plaza that leads border commuters to and from one of the pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which has been closed for most of the pandemic.
It’s believed the facility won’t open until all the migrants are removed from the campsite.