ENSENADA, Mexico (Border Report) — The port city of Ensenada is well known for its seafood, Hussong’s Cantina, and as the gateway to Mexico’s acclaimed Valle de Guadalupe’s wine region.
As of a few weeks ago, it became home to the latest shelter to house migrants in northern Baja California.
“The border areas don’t have capacity,” said Rogelio Castro, director of the For the Love of the Streets shelter in Ensenada, which is located about 70 miles south of the border along the Pacific Ocean. “The shelters along the border don’t have any space, there’s no place to put these migrants, Ensenada has become a second option.”
Castro has been running the shelter for three years. In the past, it’s opened its doors to homeless people. It’s also a sanctuary for dogs.
But last month, Castro agreed to house 90 recently deported migrants, including 53 children from Central America.
“They began arriving more than 30 days ago, state officials asked us if we could do them the favor. We have room for 200 people. Helping the most vulnerable, we don’t care where they are from, we gladly accept them and want to help them,” Castro said.
One of the families at the facility is Wendy Castro’s — no relation to Rogelio. She crossed the border in Texas but was apprehended and deported through San Diego into Tijuana.
“We were adrift, we didn’t know what to do or where to go. Thank God they brought us to this place where there are a lot of good people helping us,” she said.
The mother of three said she still hopes to someday cross into the United States, where she will seek asylum.
“We’re waiting on President Biden to make a decision to help us, we’re human beings, we’re here with the goal to work and help our families,” she said.
Rogelio Castro said he and the city of Tijuana are expecting even more migrants as the year wears on.
“There’s talk about opening more shelters in Ensenada, everyone knows more are coming,” he said.
Earlier this month, Border Report published a story about 24,000 new migrants reportedly on their way to the city of Tijuana, according to Good Samaritan, a migrant advocacy group based in Mexico.
These migrants are supposed to be from the state of Michoacán, an area spun into chaos by cartels that have been fighting for control of the region’s avocado industry.
The city of Tijuana, which has more than 20 shelters, including some run by churches and other charities, has been reporting for weeks that it can no longer accept any more migrants.