Tijuana official scoffs at steady wave of migrant expulsions and deportations from California

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Bus carrying migrant families about to be expelled is parked at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry surrounded by CBP vehicles. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — An average of 200 Mexican nationals are being expelled or deported per day through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, according to a Tijuana migrant agency.

“They come here with a lot of needs because these people aren’t from here and are coming from the United States, including some who had been there for many years,” said José Luis Pérez Canchola, who is the immigrant liaison for the city of Tijuana. “They should have a program to return these folks back immediately to their origins, but they just send them into our city through Otay border crossing without any support whatsoever.”

Pérez Canchola said the Biden administration is trying to fulfill a promise to reunite families who have been separated, but many continue to be deported or expelled after being apprehended north of the border.

“They are arresting people at their jobs due to a criminal history or sometimes when they are home or on streets, and then they are deported here,” he said.

According to Pérez Canchola, the reason many are coming to the Mexican border and trying to get into the U.S. is that the White House has been sending mixed signals, saying Biden would approve giving work visas to migrants and would reopen immigration offices to handle more asylum cases.

“He committed to giving 125,000 visas during his first year in office, that’s what provoked this migration. People don’t move just move because they’ve been asked to move, no?” Pérez Canchola said.

As for the migrants who remain at that makeshift campsite in Tijuana just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, Pérez Canchola mentioned most don’t have legal status to be in the country, but there is no movement to deport any of them. In fact, he says, there is a drive to get them some sort of humanitarian or temporary work visas so they can find jobs and supplement their expenses.

“The main stumbling block is the cost and fees associated with the application process, which is about 8,000 pesos ($400),” Pérez Canchola said.

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