23 marzo, 2023

About a thousand immigrants moved to Tijuana´s new shelter facilities, most of them Non-Mexicans waiting to enter the USA legally


Several hundreds of immigrants, most of them non-Mexican, who were staying in a public space originally destined for sports and outdoor exercise and recreation, have been moved to a new shelter which was put up only for them, so they can comfortably wait for the US authorities to approve or reject their asylum and/or green card application.

It is an average of a thousand migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, as well as compatriots, has to be used for their own tasks such as sports activities that stopped being carried out in this space for a period of almost two months.

Relocation of the immigrants who were still living in Tijuana´s Reforma Sports Unit, has begun, as part of a joint effort between Tijuana City Council, headed by Mayor Montserrat Caballero Ramírez, Baja California Governor Marina del Pilar and the Beta Group of the National Institute of Migration (INM) which is a Federal instance that takes care of all Immigration and Naturalization matters.

Reforma Sports Unit had received and hosted about one thousand immigrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, as well as a handful of Mexicans, but now it has to be used for its original goal which is to foster several sorts of sports, competition and physical activities for people in need of a place to exercise, which had stopped for almost two months in order to accommodate the immigrants.

Tijuana Director of Immigrant Attention (DMAM in Spanish), Enrique Lucero Vázquez, said that 30 families have been relocated to the Migrant Integration Center, a specially designed space where they may have a comfort zone and all the necessary facilities to carry out their immigration process so they can enter the USA, stay in Mexico or return to their homes, some are Mexican but most of them are not.

Lucero Vázquez explained that the immigrant relocation operation has been carried out with all respect and awareness of their human rights, in a context of mobility, after Reforma Sports Unit fulfilled its task of being a first-reception-space for people returned from this border under Title 42.

The director of the DMAM, dependent on the Ministry of Well-being, stressed that the municipality and the State set the example at the national level of how to work during migratory situations like this, so that no migrant is left homeless, although the sports unit will finish its work as temporary shelter.

The official highlighted the participation of non-governmental organizations such as Tijuana Hunger Free and the Salesian Project, who provided three meals a day to this population, during their months of stay, he also thanked the support of international agencies such as UNICEF, OIM and HIAS.

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