Mexico installs new border checkpoint in Tijuana and causes border delays

Mexico installed a new checkpoint on the Tijuana border with San Diego.

Photo: Joebeth Terriquez / EFE

A traffic chaos at the border crossing between Tijuana in Mexico and San Diego in California, which is considered among the busiest in the world, was caused Tuesday when a new Mexican checkpoint began operating on the Tijuana side.

The Mexican government installed a checkpoint near the border, guarded by about 20 agents from the municipal police, the state of Baja California, the National Guard and the National Institute of Migration (INM), who will carry out random checks on the travelers

Mexican authorities reported last week that the new checkpoint would allow Mexican immigration officials to check that travelers heading north have the proper documents to cross before they arrive at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, operated by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.

Catalino Zavala Márquez, Baja California government secretary, told the media that this is "a pilot project" that resulted from a binational agreement to speed up border crossings "during this season, which is the most difficult, due to the number of people who they usually cross between November and December.”

Zavla assured that this will happen because by reviewing the Mexican side, "what will happen is that as of today the US government will open more lanes on the border for access from south to north."

The mayoress of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero RamĂ­rez, promised that there will be more security in the area.

“Some unsafe facts have been presented for them (the users) and in this way we are going to protect it, we are going to expedite crossings and our binational relationship (with the US government) will improve, because it will allow greater security in the area with the presence of elements from the three levels”, said the mayoress.

Users denounce plan to detain immigrants

Several users rejected Mexico's checkpoint because and denounced that it is a plan to stop migrants at the border.

The point is installed in the midst of the record migratory flow to the United States, where the CBP detained more than 2.76 million undocumented immigrants in fiscal year 2022.

"At first I was completely unaware of the purpose, only that it was to expedite the crossing, but the more I see 'info', it becomes clear to me that it is to contain migrants seeking asylum and not really to expedite traffic," said Carlos Banales. to EFE.

The Mexican VĂ­ctor Castro said that "as long as those fences are not removed, the CBP will not work."

While Andrés Zavala pointed out that "ironically it caused a huge increase in traffic jams."

Mexico denies that it is to control immigrants

Carlos Gonzålez Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, responded that "no, in no way" after being asked if the checkpoint is for the containment of migrants or a way for Mexico to do the work of CBP.

"What we are doing in coordination is a matter of security, protection and expediting on this side of the border," he said. “It is a mistake to interpret it as an effort for another government,” she asserted.

The review point will be in force 24 hours until January 15, 2023.

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