Will Tijuana become the home of refugees from Afghanistan?

Tijuana is considered the stepping stone to achieving the "American Dream"

Photo by: Magdiel Barragan vía Unsplash

This Wednesday, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, informed that the Mexican government has started processing the first asylum requests from citizens of Afghanistan, giving priority to requests from women and children.

They also informed that they will not reveal how many requests, nor other details due to the fact that the lives of these people are in danger. However, everything seems to indicate that this will happen soon due to the critical situation that the Middle Eastern country is experiencing with the rise in power of the Taliban.

Nevertheless, Mexican citizens, mainly those residing on the border, have become concerned and wondered: will Tijuana become a home for Afghan refugees, as happened with the Haitians and later with the Central American migrants?

Barba Zandoval vía Unsplash
Barba Zandoval vía Unsplash

The truth is that Tijuana is considered, even by Mexicans themselves, as the previous step to get to the United States and the experience of the city dictates that it is a vision shared by other citizens of the world.

Although "The American Dream" has become a myth, there are still people who seek to make it a reality: in 2016 Haitians arrived looking for it, few obtained it and instead, the vast majority continues in Tijuana and some without regulating their status in the country.

Others arrived in search of the same dream, in 2018, Central American people in a migratory process, mainly from Honduras, continue in Tijuana, camping near the border crossing and in despair have caused some mishaps in the city.

Barbara Zandoval
Barbara Zandoval

Now, we will probably receive hundreds of Afghans in Mexico, who will doubtfully want to stay in the country and whose first instinct will be to seek the "protective arm" of the United States, whom they already know, since the Americans spent 20 years in the country from which they are now fleeing.

They all have it clear: they want to enter the United States and they believe that California is the key, as it is known for being a "sanctuary" state and for having laws that protect immigrants. In fact, as reported by the International Rescue Committee in San Diego, they are beginning to prepare to receive some of the 22 thousand Afghan refugees who will arrive in the United States.

The questions are: will the history of Haitians and Central Americans repeat itself with the Afghans? Will Tijuana add a new culture to its multicultural identity? What do you think?

Sohaib Ghyasi
Sohaib Ghyasi

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