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Mexican govt opening new shelter in Tijuana as deportations and MPP continue in the US

July 24, 2019Today El Sol de Tijuana and San Diego Red reported that the federal government will convert an abandoned shopping plaza in into a shelter for migrants returned from the United States.

The “Bazar Insurgentes,” located six miles from the port of entry on the corner formed by Insurgentes Boulevard and Bernardo O’Higgins Avenue, could be ready to house migrants as soon as next week. Cleaning and preparations have already begun.

Federal staff anticipate that it will up to four thousand people.

Local shelters have been under strain due to the United States’ deportation and Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) policies that have returned 4,000 more migrants to Mexico when compared to last year’s statistics.

The number of migrants who arrive deported from the United States day by day has exceeded 100 people daily, according to the National Institute of Migration (INM), and these numbers have not changed since the raids ordered by Trump.

Thus far, CNN reports, ICE has arrested only 35 of an expected 2000 people.

The raids, originally scheduled for late June, targeted families under deportation order and living in 10 cities around the country, including Los Angeles, Miami and New York City. DHS postponed the initial wave of raids after media reported when and where they would take place.

Fortunately we’ve seen communities take similar action on a smaller scale.

“Residents in Hermitage, Tennessee, formed a human chain around their neighbor’s van” on Monday to prevent ICE from taking him into custody, and then “[a]fter about four hours, the neighbors created a chain to allow the father and son to run into their home,” and then “[a]fter the ICE agents left, the neighbors once again formed a chain to help the family into a car so they could leave their home.

Though Trump has deported fewer people than Obama, the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as Return to Mexico, are a novel and dangerous innovation in the control of migratory populations.

As of June 2019, 12,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico. Of course, Trump is threatening an expansion of the program, says The Mantle.

Under the MPP, non-Mexican migrants are returned to live in Mexico for months awaiting their immigration hearing in the US. Migrants are mostly returned Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, often face the same social and political danger that causes migrants to leave their country of origin, for example the same gang networks, institutional transphobic violence and failure of state actors to safeguard against such persecution.

Four thousand of these refugees may end up living in a formerly abandoned shopping plaza off the highway in Tijuana.