Thousands of refugees, mostly from Earthquake stricken Haiti are currently stuck in Tijuana. Up until recently they were eligible for Humanitarian Parole into the United States, but recent policy changes have made this much, much harder. This Christmas, all of the migrant shelters in Tijuana are full, overflowing with men, women and children who are in desperate need of accomodation, warm clothing, food, water and hygiene supplies. Many churches have become temporary shelters, with one such shelter in the hills behind Tijuana housing over 450 refugees, including at least 50 children. This emergency shelter does not have access to municipal water, and relies on trucks to deliver water on a daily basis for showers, toilets and cooking. Heavy rain this month has washed out the access road meaning that it can now only be accessed by 4WD.
According to the LA Times:
Tijuana’s shelters are overflowing.
At Padre Chava, an 88-bed shelter and soup kitchen, Haitian women and children spread blankets on the floor in between the dining room tables to sleep at night. Movimiento Juventud 2000 has pitched dozens of tents outside its 33-bed facility to accommodate more migrants.
Those who can’t find space in a shelter are bedding down in church halls, renting rooms in private homes and filling cheap hotels in the red light district, amid strip clubs and bars touting “beer morning and night.”
This is a humanitarian crisis unlike anything we have seen in recent history here in San Diego/Tijuana.