By Manuel Ayala
Tijuana, Mexico, May 19 (EFE).- A week after the end of Title 42, which allowed the immediate expulsion of people entering the United States illegally, shelters in the border city of Tijuana, in northern Mexico, are overflowing with migrants.
Activists say that the number of refugees arriving at their shelters has increased considerably, especially those who have been displaced by violence from their places and countries of origin.
Pastor Albert Rivera Colón, director of the Agape World Mission shelter, told EFE that the number of migrants, especially displaced people, coming to the shelter to ask for refuge has increased by 500 percent this week.
He said that the shelter previously housed between 350 and 400 people from several countries in Central and South America, as well as the interior of Mexico.
However, the shelter now has more than 950 migrants, including entire families and many children, he added.
“They are increasing too much…and we expect more to arrive. Every day they are calling us to see if we have space,” the activist said.
Pastor Rivera Colón explained that the shelter had already issued a statement saying that it won’t accept migrants being turned away under Title 8, which replaced Title 42.
Despite that, some people have arrived, he said, but they have had to turn them away, since migrants deported under Title 8 are banned from entering the US for five years and need a lawyer to ask for a pardon, which the shelter cannot provide them.
He added that they were recommending that these people go to the migrant assistance authorities of Tijuana and the northern state of Baja California, since they are supposed to attend to them under the agreement accepted by the Mexican government.
“The Mexican government should know that once the migrants are returned by Title 8, they will not be able to enter the US for five years and they should have a shelter and a job bank for them, so that people can seek to integrate themselves into society while they resolve their situation,” he said.
Josefina González, a migrant from the Mexican state of Guerrero, told EFE that she had noticed more migrants arriving in the city and in the shelters, especially the one where she is.
“A lot of people have been arriving, I don’t know if it’s because Title 42 has expired, but there are a lot of people coming in every day,” she said.
She admitted not knowing what the procedures under Title 8 were like since she has yet to meet someone who has already gone through the process.
But with the new version of the CBP-One 2.50 application that the US authorities have re-launched, it is easier to get an appointment, she said.
“First, you get your confirmation email and then it takes your picture. Earlier if it was more difficult and there were more obstacles,” she added. EFE