Border Patrol is once again keeping hundreds of asylum-seeking migrants outdoors, without even bathroom facilities, for one to two days between the double layers of the border wall between San Diego and Tijuana.
Now it’s happening again. From California Public Radio:
The camp is in San Ysidro, between the primary and secondary border walls. Migrants there sleep outside with little protection from the elements. There are no bathrooms, leaving men, women and children to relieve themselves in nearby bushes.
…Customs and Border Patrol personnel give the migrants water bottles, cheese and crackers. Everything else comes from volunteers in San Diego and Tijuana, according to several migrants interviewed by KPBS.
Volunteers provided fruits, blankets, medicine, diapers, menstrual pads and generators to charge people’s phones.
…Migrants interviewed in the camp Tuesday told KPBS that they were not free to leave the camp whenever they wished. All of them had wristbands given to them by CBP personnel. Many of the people in the camp want to pursue asylum claims in the United States.
Volunteers told California Public Radio that the migrants are spending between 24 and 36 hours in the camp before agents pick them up for processing. In the meantime, they must relieve themselves in bushes between the fence lines.
Border Patrol claims that they are facing capacity challenges. These challenges are certain to increase as numbers of migrants, many of them asylum seekers, have been growing since July and may continue to grow into the fall. If that happens, and if Border Patrol is allowed to keep using the space between the walls as an open-air pen, then the wait times will get longer.
Many of the asylum seekers have given up on waiting for the “CBP One” smartphone app to cough up an appointment. Enrique Lucero, the director of Tijuana’s municipal migrant affairs office, told the local El Imparcial “there are between 5,500 and 6,000 migrants in city government-recognized shelters, who are waiting to obtain a CBP One appointment to begin their asylum process in a way that is safe and ordered by the United States.”
At the San Ysidro port of entry, CBP is taking 385 CBP One appointments per day—16 times smaller than the officially known portion of Tijuana’s migrant shelter population—plus maybe 10 more “walk-ups,” according to an August 31 report from the University of Texas’s Strauss Center.