There are currently 1,800 Ukrainian refugees waiting to cross in Tijuana, as reported by El Imparcial, a news outlet that serves the Baja California border area. Below is the translation of the original article in Spanish, which is linked. The refugees are currently sheltered in the Benito Juarez Sports Unit in the Zona Norte area of Tijuana, just a couple hundred yards from the border. Another smaller encampment pf about 100-200 people is in a small park near the east side of the San Ysidro Border Crossing. As many as 500 in one day were reported allowed into the US last week.
The Benito Juarez Sports Unit is also where the Central American caravan first stayed in 2018. At one point, there were reportedly 6,000 Central American migrants at this same shelter.
According to those in charge, there are more than 1,800 Ukrainians on the site.
By Khennia Reyes
April 09, 2022
Tijuana, BC.- ‘I still have flashbacks of the noise of the bombings, every five minutes every day of the week we have been hearing bombs fall since February 24th,’ said Alexander, from Ukraine.
Alexander arrived in Tijuana on Thursday, where he will have to wait his turn to obtain the refuge that the United States offered to the Ukrainian victims of the war conflict.
Alexander is number 2,385 on the waiting list to enter this Nation, which he does not know.
“I have no relatives, I don’t know anything about that city, I just want my family and I to be safe. That’s all. I think that my little English, my job as an electronics engineer, can help my children and wife,” he said.
Concerns of the Ukrainians
One of the concerns of the Ukrainian is not knowing the whereabouts of the rest of his relatives who stayed between Russia and Ukraine, since it is difficult to leave those places due to the lack of flight, money and protection.
1,800 Ukrainians are in the shelter of the Benito Juárez Sports Unit, whose courts and gymnasium reached their maximum occupancy.
For this reason, the State Undersecretary for Immigration Affairs, Adriana Minerva Espinoza Nolasco, reported that some entire families had to be transferred to the Migrant Sanctuary, where until Thursday night they had 15 rooms available for seven people.
They will attend only family nuclei
He explained that there they will attend exclusively to families with babies or minors, who are the most vulnerable in the exodus of those displaced by the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Espinoza Nolasco announced that, although the output and income in the sports unit are constant, they analyze looking for other spaces to serve the Ukrainian community.