By Guest Contributor Brooke Binkowski, cross-posted from Brooke Binkowski.com
In early August, Mexico’s government destroyed the encampments in Tijuana’s riverbed after the notorious “El Bordo,” where homeless people had been living for years, became international news. A tent city soon sprang up nearby, in Tijuana’s Plaza Constitucion, and has housed homeless migrants, largely deportees, since.
Of these deportees, almost 40 percent have lived in the United States for several years and identify as at least partly American; at least 5 percent identify as indigenous Mexican and speak very little Spanish; many need mental health care or addiction treatment, and nobody wants to be there.
The encampment is administered by volunteers from Angeles Sin Fronteras, Angels Without Borders. They offer food, a temporary place to stay, bathrooms and makeshift showers, and free haircuts to those looking for work.
There are very few places that offer such services for the homeless and the “segun deportados,” the twice deported, who have absolutely nowhere else to go. The ones that do exist subsist on very little support from the Mexican government.
Everywhere, handwritten signs are tacked up that read: “No militarizar la frontera” – Don’t militarize the border.