TIJUANA (Border Report) — The city of Tijuana is trying to evict migrants, mostly Russians, from an area just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry where they have been staying for the better part of a week.
Late Wednesday, it gave the migrants letters in both Russian and Spanish, telling them it was time to leave the area and go to shelters where they can stay free of cost.
The letters go on to say the city supports migrants’ right to asylum in the United States, but that it can’t allow them to remain on a “federal and international zone between Mexico and the United States.”
“Officer says Ukraine yes, Russians no,” said Mike a Russian migrant.
Mike told Border Report he arrived at the border crossing on Tuesday and remains hopeful the U.S. will allow him and his wife to cross the border in the near future.
“United States is freedom, freedom,” he said.
Mike said he and the other Russians gathered here want the same access Ukrainians are getting, though Ukrainians are being allowed into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons following Russia’s attack on their country.
Mike, who claims his mother is Ukrainian, says they, too, are war refugees fleeing Russia’s policy toward Ukraine and anti-government protesters.
“It’s Putin’s conflict, not me, Russian people are good people,” he said.
As of Thursday, Mike and most of the others remained in place ignoring Tijuana’s order to leave.
The city cited security and hygiene as their main concerns for wanting the migrants away from the port of entry where thousands walk by daily on their way to U.S.
It also warns the migrants against antagonizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
“We recommend you don’t try and force your way into the United States and risk your physical being while being penalized later during the asylum process,” wrote Enrique Lucero, director of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs office.