Overcrowded Tijuana Migrant Shelter Closed Due to Health Issues

A sports complex in Tijuana that sheltered over 5,000 migrants closed due to health issues and poor sanitary conditions. Since Thursday, migrants have been transferred from the sports complex to a new shelter and by Sunday, most migrants have been transferred. However, CNN officials found groups of migrants camping outside the gates of the sports complex.

The new shelter is located in the eastern part of Tijuana, an area called El Barretal. The new shelter is reportedly in better condition than the sports complex, and includes a roof and a dry floor for migrants to sleep on. It is located 45 minutes away from the U.S. border.

Last week, CNN visited the sports complex shelter and found the shelter to be in horrendous conditions. The large sports complex was was more than three times over its capacity. Due to overcrowding, the shelter did not have sufficient crucial resources such as food and water for the migrants. Further, the sports complex included outdoor showers, growing piles of trash, and large runoff puddles from the outdoor bathroom facilities. Migrants housed at the complex also faced poor sanitation and rapid spreading of illnesses and infections due to cramped conditions.

This incident follows President Trump’s increasingly harsh immigration policies, from family separations to the removal of asylum for survivors of domestic violence or gang violence. President Trump was targeting the Central American caravan as a political ploy ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Members of the Central American caravan started reaching the border last month. LGBTQ asylum seekers were the first of the caravan to reach the U.S. border in Tijuana. For the migrants currently living in Tijuana shelters, it could be weeks or months before they have a chance to cross the US border and present their case.


Newswire Sources: CNN 12/4/18; 11/29/18; Feminist Newswire 11/27/18

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