Tijuana and the deported

Hear not, see not, speak not

Cortesía Colef
Cortesía Colef

The numbers are not encouraging. The Northern Border Collegiate (COLEF) realized a census of the area to get a better idea of how many people were living there; the investigation was the work of Dr. Laura Velasco Ortiz, member of the Department of Cultural Studies. Among the results those that stand out are the following: among 700-1000 people live in El Bordo, 96% of the population are males older than 40 years of age, 67% have children, 73% of those that live here have no papers, 25% studied high school, 18% studied in the United States, 52% of them speak English, 6.7 speak some native tongue, 91% of the inhabitants were deported from California after living in the state anywhere from 6-25 years. Most of them are originally from Baja California, Jalisco, Sinaloa, Michoacan and Guerrero. 43% have been living at El Bordo for less than a year, and half of them were deported in the past 4 years. Most of them have been victims or robbery, assault and detention by members of the local police, some of them tell tales of police officers destroying their personal documents.

Dr. Ortiz made a call to all three levels of government authority to pay attention to this population sector immediately, in a way that they can guarantee their basic human rights and made proposals when it comes to humanitarian attention, insertion into the city and cross-border support.

This study was made in the months of August and September of 2013, after the eviction of the people living in El Bordo because of the canal clean up. Another fact which stands out is that several of the evicted took residence in the camp in the center of the city, over 300 tents are home to nearly 400 people, the number rises each day and the ones who are handling this effort are non-government organizations.

In the month of May in 2013, the city's government announced a strategy to help deported immigrants. The Department of Public Safety (SSPM) had indicated that a large part of the crime in the city is done by those deported who arrive to Tijuana every day from the United States, a number which is close to 600 people a day according to this instance. This effort contemplated attention measures for immigrants such as help to obtain personal documents and an attention center, as well as support for those deported so they could return to their home city.

Back then the federal government said it would support this with 58 million pesos (around four million dollars) and today there have been no numbers or progress reports. DIF of Tijuana has helped the cause with several support actions for immigrants despite the fact that the task should fall on the federal government, as the president of the organization, Carolina Bustamante explained, the resources are insufficient.

The inhabitants of El Bordo continue to be a powerful crime factory. As well, the region has become a drug sale center as well in the past few months, particularly with a drug known as "Speedball" or "cowboy" which is a mixture of heroin and cocaine and is rising in popularity, given that it is consumed by both locals as well as Americans who cross over just to get the drugs.

The problem is still ongoing and it is evident that attention to the deported should be a priority for the three levels of government. What should be done regarding this?

Brenda.Colon@sandiegored.com

Daniel.Aguilar@sandiegored.com

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