SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Officials in Tijuana say they are baffled as they try to figure out how thousands of migrants from Africa keep showing up in their region.
Enrique Lucero, head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office, says they’ve yet to find out who is bringing the Africans to Tijuana or how they are getting here.
“The flow is constant, and we don’t know how they make their way here,” said Lucero. “There is no register at the airport or bus stations.”
Lucero made these comments while discussing the recent death of a migrant man from West Africa who died while attempting to cross into the U.S. on Wednesday morning.
The victim was part of a group that rushed its way north of the border in what has been described as a “stampede” along the Tijuana River channel.
The man was found dead downstream on U.S. soil.
Lucero predicts more of these events will take place in the future.
“The mass crossings are a very complicated theme, especially with people from the African continent who keep doing this in spite of the dangers and the positioning of migration officers on both sides of the border trying to stop them.”
Lucero admitted this is becoming so frequent that Tijuana police and immigration officials feel helpless in trying to stop the large-scale incursions.
“We can try to stop them, detain them, neutralize them, but these will continue as long as the migrants have these feelings of desperation for not being able to get an appointment via the CBP One app.”
This online app helps migrants secure appointments to cross the border at a port of entry for interviews with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services personnel.
This allows asylum-seekers a path to begin their asylum cases.
Lucero stated worldwide campaigns need to be started to teach migrants about their rights and the dangers associated with crossing the border between ports of entry in the U.S.
Lucero told Border Report they have no idea how many African nationals arrive in Tijuana daily.
“Perhaps they are arriving by boat at clandestine landings or in commercial trucks.”