From VICE: Life in “El Bordo”

Aug 8, 2013
10:28 pm

This in from VICE:


Each year, more than 30 million people flow between the US and Mexico through the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the busiest land-border crossing in the world. Situated between San Diego and Tijuana, at one time the area around San Ysidro was a prime spot to cross illegally into the US. But in 1994, Operation Gatekeeper expanded the border wall and increased the number of checkpoints. With the more recent addition of unmanned drone patrols along the border, Tijuana has become one of the most fortified border points in the Americas. Border crossers have been forced to turn to alternative sites of crossing, such as the Sonoran Desert, where hundreds of people die each year.

About 40 percent of Mexican immigrants deported from the US are sent back through Tijuana. Many of the deported border crossers have established a makeshift shantytown inside a dry, concrete riverbed where the Tijuana River once flowed—called El Bordo.

In years past, local nonprofits and shelters offered humanitarian aid to immigrants attempting to cross into the US, but today they primarily care for the deportees who have been booted back to Mexico. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (better known as ICE) reported a record 409,849 immigrants deported from the States in 2012, and a recent report published by Social Scientists on Immigration Policy states that, based on the current rates of deportation, more than two million people will have been deported by the Obama administration by 2014, more than under any president in American history.