Migrant shelters in Tijuana saturated, turning people away

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Migrants are seen on Saturday, April 24, 2021, inside a shelter holding 700 asylum-seekers who have been deported in Tijuana, Mexico. (Courtesy Photo)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Space at migrant shelters is now at a premium as facilities have begun turning people away, said José María García Lara, who runs one shelter in Tijuana.

“The migrants who have been at the border campsite have started looking for shelter space as a way to find a more secure place,” said García Lara. “There have people calling us from there or have arrived here with their families to ask if we have space, but I repeat, unfortunately, we are full due to this population that continues to arrive in the city. We can’t accommodate more people.”

García Lara said his shelter is currently housing 128 adults and 58 children.

This lack of room at shelters is a citywide problem, with some shelters housing as many as 1,500 people.

At the Carmen Serdán Migrant Center, a shelter funded by the federal government, the numbers are said to be at an all-time high and there’s doubt it can take in any more people even though people continue to be sent to this facility.

The shelter is reporting that in the last six months, its numbers have surged, going from 85 people in January to 459 as of yesterday. Officials say 259 are from Mexico and the rest are from other nations.

Adding to the lack of space is a chickenpox outbreak that has hit several shelters forcing them to shut their doors and isolate current residents.

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