SAN YSIDRO, CA (Tucson News Now) - As Customs and Border Protection prepare for the possibility of more migrants from Central America moving east to other border communities, the people who live in San Ysidro and Tijuana, Mexico, are already feeling the effects of the caravan.
The San Ysidro Port of Entry is one of the largest border crossings in the country and one of the busiest ports in the world with thousands of people crossing to and from Mexico each day. After it was shut down recently, there is concern it could happen again.
For people who live near the border, crossing between the two countries is a way of life.
Many cross into Mexico to visit family or a doctor, others cross into the U.S. to work or grocery shop for the week.
More people have started to cross by foot because of increased wait times for vehicular traffic, sometimes taking several hours to cross the border.
Marina Melgareo lives in Tijuana, but says she shops in America for better deals to help the little money she makes go further, especially during the holiday season.
Right now, she’s checking social media before crossing to see if there is word of more unrest at the border, a sign that the port of entry could close again.
Ivan Vasquez went to visit his girlfriend’s family in Tijuana. He says he’s frustrated with the migrant caravan.
”I understand that they’re seeking asylum, but they’re not doing it the right way,” he said.
Moises Castillo works in America, but lives in Tijuana next to the new camp housing thousands of migrants.
He says their proximity is not the issue – he’s worried about the bigger issue. He wants the Mexican government to be more organized for a long-term solution.
Castillo says the sun rises for everyone but if the migrants plan to stay in Mexico long-term, he wants them to work and not cause any problems.
His family is now on standby just in case he’s the one who can’t get home.