On Wednesday of last week, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, reported that the Mexican government had begun to process the first asylum requests from citizens of Afghanistan, giving priority to requests from women and children; days later hundreds of refugees have arrived in our country.
This has made many border residents wonder: will they travel to Tijuana with the intention of crossing the border into the United States? And while this could be one of the main reasons for attracting citizens from Afghanistan, there are other factors as well.
First of all, although not well known, there is a Muslim community located in Playas of Tijuana, they have told Telemundo that they are very happy about the Mexican government's decision to give asylum to members of their community, they assured that there is room for them in their mosque.
In addition, it would not be the first time that Tijuana opens its doors to Muslim migrants. According to the president of the Latin Muslim Foundation, Sonia García, 18 families from Yemen, Iran and Syria have arrived in the Mexican city with the intention of going to the United States.
Also, the foundation directed by García announced that they will work on two buildings in the Zona Norte (North Zone) of Tijuana that could serve as a shelter for about 120 families requesting asylum.
On the other hand, California has one of the largest Muslim communities in the United States, and they happen to be in San Diego: according to the San Diego Union Tribune, a census registered more than 120 thousand Muslims in the region.
These factors could make Tijuana attractive for Afghan refugees to make it temporarily or more permanently their home, just as it has happened with the Haitians who arrived in 2016 or as the Central Americans who arrived in 2018.
Do you think the history of Haitians and Central Americans will repeat itself with the Afghans? Will Tijuana add a new culture to its multicultural identity? What do you think?
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