The northern border of Mexico, with an area of 3.234 kilometers, not only divides two countries. Separate two cultures, two worlds. the Anglo-Saxon and Latin America. Tijuana, the busiest border crossing on the planet -14 million vehicles and 33 million people a year-, the westernmost city in Latin America, whose motto, more impossible Mexican, is: “Here begins the homeland”
Industry, violence, tourism and sex are an indissoluble part of the image of this city. In recent years, however, another element has been added to the equation. the deportees. During the eight years of the government of Barack Obama, the United States expelled -they are figures from the National Institute of Migration- about three million Mexicans, the largest record of deportations in history.
The United States maintains that it only expels criminals. Many deportees, however, report having been arrested in raids by immigration agents or minor infractions. “Any situation is grounds for expulsion,” says journalist Israel Ibarra. “Being a migrant on American soil is a crime. “
The deportees join, in any case, the thousands of people who remain after seeing frustrated their desire to cross to the United States. The majority of the 500,000 undocumented migrants who, according to the International Organization for Migration, travel north through Mexico every year are Central Americans, but the flow is universal. In Tijuana, there are natives from Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Iraq, Cote d’Ivoire, Russia, Ukraine and other European countries. Many end up staying in Tijuana; some out of conviction, most trapped by fate.