TIJUANA (Border Report) — The office of immigrant affairs in Tijuana has noticed a new trend in recent weeks with more and more migrants from Africa arriving in the city.
“It has been a constant flow,” said Enrique Lucero, head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office. “It’s due to the political and economic climate that exists in that continent.”
Lucero said most of the migrants are from countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana and Somalia.
“They are all taking the same route through Brazil, they’ll cross South America and then on to Mexico City and finally Tijuana,” Lucero said.
And almost all of these migrants share the same goal: “They’re all trying to get to the United States,” he said.
Since last month, the city of Tijuana and the Mexican government have launched campaigns to convince migrants not to try and cross into the United States and instead seek legal pathways such as the CBP One Program, an online system designed to get asylum seekers appointments and entry into the U.S.
“Our outreach is mostly aimed at shelters, bus stations and the airport,” said Lucero. Unfortunately, there are many people who haven’t gotten this message due to the fact they have likely paid a guide to get them this far.”
Lucero did not provide figures as to how many migrants from Africa are arriving in Tijuana on a regular basis.
“The volume is not as high as we’ve seen with Haitians in the past or people from Guatemala or El Salvador, but nevertheless this has become an ongoing flow.”