SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has run out of room to process and house migrants who continue to arrive by the hundreds on a daily basis along the San Diego-Tijuana border.
According to CBP, all of its facilities in the San Diego Sector are at capacity, including a tent center that was set up three months ago near the border in Otay Mesa.
This is forcing migrants to spend days at a time waiting for agents to pick them up.
According to the Border Patrol, the migrants are congregating primarily at three spots along the border between San Diego and Tijuana.
One is directly west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the banks of the Tijuana River; another area is about a mile and a half to the west of the first location; and the third spot is near Friendship Park, close to the Pacific Ocean.
The asylum seekers are having to rely on small fires to keep warm and on Border Patrol agents to deliver water and snacks, something good Samaritans are also doing.
Off camera, a Border Patrol supervisor said their intent is not to keep the migrants out in the elements, “it’s just they don’t have room.”
The agent said their facilities have specific areas for women, single men and family units.
When migrants leave these sites, agents can then go and pick up other migrants and bring them in for processing.
“When one migrant leaves another is brought in to take his place,” the agent said.
As they are being processed, migrants can formally ask for asylum.
Right now, for the most part, migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua as well as Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are being immediately turned away at the border upon apprehension.
When Title 42 ends next week, as is expected, people from these countries will be processed under Title 8, which is a lengthier process that may or may not result in removal.
This is creating concerns that even more migrants will arrive at the border seeking asylum, further impacting Border Patrol operations.
Title 42 is a directive suggested by the Centers for Disease Control at the start of the pandemic. It was adopted by the Trump administration as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Border agents and CBP officers were given the directive to expel migrants almost immediately after apprehension preventing migrants from asking for asylum.
On May 11, Title 42 is expected to be eliminated by the Department of Homeland Security.