So many people fleeing persecution in their home countries have asked for help in San Ysidro in recent weeks that federal officials have not been able to process all of them, leaving some stranded and running out of money while they wait in Tijuana.
U.S. border officials are trying to work through the backlog, but they can go only as fast as migrants can be processed and moved from temporary holding cells to immigration detention.
An official with U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency remains committed to meeting the care and safety needs of people in custody, and is working actively with partners, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to resolve the backup.
“There are potentially a number of reasons causing the San Diego area ports of entry to reach capacity; we do not have a definitive reason to offer at this time,” the official added.
Because of the backlog, close to 100 migrants lined up last week in the plaza outside the walkway that leads to PedWest, the pedestrian border crossing that opened earlier this year, Tijuana media outlets reported. Migrants slept in line, afraid of losing their places and having to wait longer for CBP to process them.
Then, Mexican officials told them they couldn’t stay in the plaza.