Mexico deploys troops in Playas de Tijuana to prevent migrant crossings

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TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA.- Members of Mexico’s National Guard and of the Mexican Navy have been stationed along the border next to the Pacific Ocean to prevent migrants from entering the United States.

Mexico’s National Institute of Migration says the deployment is necessary as more and more migrants are crossing through this area, where temporary fencing has been put up by construction crews building a new 30-foot barrier that will replace the one that now runs into the water.

The institute reports that on average daily, anywhere from 80 to 100 people are sneaking into the U.S. in this area on the beach.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection could not confirm these figures saying it does not have specific numbers of migrant encounters in this part of the southern border.

For the month of August, the latest figures available, U.S. Border Patrol agents in the San Diego Sector had 18,984 encounters compared to 15,033 in July.

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September figures are due out in about two weeks.

Enrique Lucero, the head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office, says the deployment of the troops at the beach is meant to be a deterrent to “reduce migrants’ motivation for wanting to cross into the United States.”

“By no means do we want to arrest people, that would be outside the law. We’re trying to dissuade migrants, making them think twice about crossing, this is not the way to seek asylum,” said Lucero. “We can’t normalize irregular crossings arranged by smugglers and drug cartels.”

Source: AP

Baja California Post