Tijuana - the final resting point for Central American migrants on a grueling journey for the prospect at a better life in America. A city that until recently, received little to no media attention for its growing immigrant population. A population that contrary to popular belief - has been present for over a decade.
Throughout the past 60 days - over 7,000 refugees fleeing from violence and economic hardship in their home countries - arrived in Tijuana.
This surge in migration, brought with it the attention of the international community - most notably the United States. With Trump eager to build the border wall as promised, and ultimately secure a second term in office - anti-immigration sentiment could not be stronger in US politics.
In the middle of this US-Mexico sociopolitical polarization sit the volunteers, NGO’s, and Tijuana locals that chose to step up and help amidst the chaos. “I don’t care where they came from. They still need help, and I’m going to help them” - said World Central Kitchen volunteer and Tijuana local Oscar Montano.
Despite strong resistance from the local Tijuana community - Mexico is choosing to stand by the migrant community by providing shelter, access to non-profit/government relief services, and (slow) asylum processing…for now. With unending pressure from the US, a strain on the local and federal economy, uncertainty at the border, and two communities depending on it’s stability - how long will that last?