SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Ped West, a second pedestrian crossing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry will remain closed indefinitely, according to Tijuana’s Mayor Montserrat Caballero.
During a news conference Thursday, Caballero said U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not have the personnel to staff the crossing, something CBP itself has said in the past.
Ped West, or El Chaparral as it’s called in Tijuana, has been closed since March 2020, shortly after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Caballero also stated that her city will not remove a temporary fence on the Mexico side of this facility designed to keep migrants from camping out, as they did for almost a year until the camp was shut down in February.
“We need it for a time as a preventive measure so it doesn’t happen again,” Caballero said. “The fencing will be removed when it’s necessary, but at the moment, it’s not in the way. On the contrary, it’s helping us.”
Caballero said the final decision is not hers to make but Mexico’s federal government as well as U.S. authorities.
“We’ll be very respectful of the process as they begin to open the pedestrian crossing,” the mayor said.
Since the migrant campsite was removed, the crossing had been utilized by Ukrainian nationals who crossed into the U.S. under humanitarian reasons in March and April.
Now, on a daily basis, small groups of migrants under the Migrant Protection Protocol program are allowed to cross the border from Mexico.
“Usually, it’s two groups of about 35 people, once in the morning and then again in the afternoon,” said Enrique Lucero, head of Tijuana’s Migrant Affairs Office.