Photo: Angeles Sin Fronteras
Immigrants deported from the United States are finding shelter here in a camp established just a short distance from the border.
The camp, located in Tijuana’s Constitution Square, was set up by the Angeles Sin Fronteras (Angels Without Borders) organization because of the need for a place to house deportees seeking work in a city with which most of them are unfamiliar.
ASF’s Javier Reyes told Efe that there are about 700 people living in the camp, but he added that “many have already gone because (they’ve gotten) no moral support from the authorities.”
He said that since the camp was opened five months ago the people there have survived thanks to donations of food, blankets and clothing.
“The people who remain longer, it’s because their family is nearby, in California,” said Reyes. “It’s easy for their relatives to come here to visit them on the weekend.”
Others remain in the city because they’re holding out the hope of returning quickly to the United States, where they have family and a life, while in Mexico they don’t know anyone.
However, the camp was relocated recently on the orders of the authorities, who are seeking solutions for the approximately 200 deportees that Tijuana receives daily from the United States.
Reyes acknowledges that the current location is not the ideal spot, but he said there was a lack of alternatives.
“They’re human beings who feel. I know that the spot is not appropriate for them, but if they don’t have (any money) to pay for shelter or (have) a job it’s very difficult,” he said.
Christian Ramirez, the director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, said that the Mexican authorities should pay more attention to this matter given the record number of deportations being made by the United States in recent years.
“The Mexican government has the moral and political obligation to attend to the needs of their countrymen,” he said.