TIJUANA (Border Report) — The number of asylum-seekers and migrants at an impromptu campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry is now an estimated 300 people.
Folks began camping out late last week in anticipation of asylum-seekers finally being allowed to enter the United States back on Feb. 19.
The U.S. has said only migrants with asylum cases pending will be considered, and only if they register on a web portal and wait for an appointment to show up at the border.
In spite of warnings not to approach the border, migrants continue to show up in large numbers hoping policies will change so they can enter the U.S.
On Wednesday, Baja California’s Health Secretary asked the migrants to vacate the premises, saying it had become unhealthy for all those people to congregate and live in such close proximity.
The fear is the migrants will help spread COVID-19 and other viruses.
Yesterday, Tijuana’s Mayor Karla Ruíz Macfarland visited the site and also asked the migrants leave.
“They think it’s like before the pandemic, but the program is for people who already signed up, most people here don’t qualify,” she said.
The camp has become home to men, women, children, even babies. Some have tents to shield them from the elements, but many don’t and sleep on cardboard on a sidewalk.
There’s also no bathroom facilities or showers.
Some private and public agencies are on-hand to help migrants, but the mayor is asking people to go back to the shelters.
“I hope our agencies are also providing information to make people understand they can’t be here and that they won’t be able to cross the border,” Ruíz Macfarland said.