Mexican immigration officials announced that they are trying to move the migrants in the area south of San Diego.
The migrants were told that they would be allowed to bring three pieces of clothing to the shelters but no extra items.
The mayor of the city, Montserrat Caballero, told reporters: “There were people who started to leave and started to get on of their own free will (…) on the trucks going to the various shelters.”
She added that the elements who participated in the operation were not armed. The move alarmed many of the migrants living in the camp.
“What they’re doing to us is wrong and inhuman,” said Rosalia Mejia, from the southern state of Guerrero, who has been living in the camp for six months with her three children.
A Honduran woman, Maritza, called on the authorities to take action. “We came from our country because there is a lot of crime. They took us out of there and now they take us out of here,” said the woman, who has been living in Tijuana for a year and six months in a tent with her two children.
After the eviction, the authorities proceeded to demolish the migrants’ tents and damage the clothes, household items, and furniture.
Many immigrants, mostly from Central America, cross Mexico to seek asylum in the United States in the face of violence and poverty at home.
Along the way, many of them fall victim to organized crime or to the grip of Mexican authorities, who have stepped up their operations to combat the migration flow.
The number of immigrants arriving in the United States decreased significantly during the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, but began to rise later in 2020, before escalating since US President Joe Biden took office in January of last year.
On December 9, a trailer carrying 160 irregular migrants crashed into a pedestrian bridge on a highway in Chiapas, killing 56 people, most of them Guatemalans.