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TIJUANA (Border Report) — Migrant shelters in the city of Tijuana are operating at 75-percent capacity since the start of this year, a clear reversal from when they were over capacity in December, said José María García Lara, who operates the Alianza Migrante de Tijuana shelter.

“We can say it’s tranquil, we can’t say it’s gone up to start the year, it’s been relatively calm with the migrant community,” he said.

García Lara said this is welcome news since many shelters had been forced to cut down on capacity due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, so more migrant arrivals in the city of Tijuana would have a big impact on operations.

“There’s few spaces to begin with due to COVID, there are a lot of recommendations to ignore similar protocols like the ones instituted last year and the year before,” said García Lara. “Some shelters never reduced their numbers hoping to help more people, they had to juggle sanitary requirements with helping migrants.”

García Lara pointed out his shelter had been operating at its maximum capacity of 163 due in part to an influx of migrants from Haiti.

“Today, we have 123 people, it will all depend on the arrival of people, we’re waiting to see how many we’ll get,” he said.

García Lara said one area where numbers have increased is in the deportations of Mexican nationals, including those who are part of the Migrant Protection Protocols.

“We are now reaching 250 per day, it’s a similar number we saw for most of 2021 when we surpassed more than 100,000 in our area.”

Another decrease in the migrant population is being seen at the makeshift camp that sprung up just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry almost a year ago.

At its peak, close to 2,000 migrants were staying there.

Back in November, the city of Tijuana built a fence around the site to limit the number of people coming and going.

At that time, a survey was done to confirm the number of residents at the camp. It was determined slightly more than 400 were staying there.

Another survey was conducted last week.

While exact figures have not been released, Border Report was told the figure is now below 400 as more and more migrants are leaving on their own.

Others have voluntarily been moved to shelters around Tijuana.