SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — In the hours leading up to the end of Title 42, migrants and border authorities are playing the waiting game while preparing for the worst.
Migrants continue to gather at various spots along the border between San Diego and Tijuana, with one of the larger groups congregating about a mile and a half to the west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Here, like at the other spots along the border, migrants wait to be picked up by agents.
In the meantime, they survive with water and food provided by good Samaritans, with the Border Patrol making two stops daily to deliver water and granola bars.
On the south side of the border, you’ll find people like Juan delivering groceries to migrants.
“I’ve also delivered medicine for a baby,” he said.
While Juan is doing this free of charge, others are seen selling food and charging for delivery.
Border Report heard from migrants about being charged $100 for a bucket of fried chicken while some are reportedly paying $40 for Little Caesars pizzas made south of the border.
“It saddens me very much what’s happening to the migrants,” said Aida Meza, a commuter at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Meza found herself waiting in line Wednesday night as U.S. Customs and Border Protection shut down the port of entry while it conducted a simulation.
Officers dressed in riot gear exercise crowd control tactics in case large numbers of migrants rush the port of entry once Title 42 is lifted.
“It sounded like a bomb went off,” said Meza.
She was referring to the sound of simulated concussion grenades going off as the officers tried to simulate a real scenario with smoke and gas in the air.
“It’s going to generate chaos,” said Julian Palombo, president of the Tijuana Chamber of Commerce.
Palombo worries if migrants do try to stream across the border, it could lead CBP to close the ports of entry impacting a lot of people along the border.
“Just the mere implication of delays once Title 42 goes away is already making people rethink about crossing the border in both directions for shopping and other needs.”