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Deportee Camp in Tijuana Plaza Disbands

Evening Edition

Above: A tent camp set up by deportees in Tijuana plaza has been dismantled. From our Fronteras Desk, Jill Replogle tells us many of the people camped out in the plaza have moved to a shelter east of Tijuana

Aired 12/24/13 on KPBS News.

Most of the tents that housed deportees in Tijuana’s Plaza Constitución are gone.

Most of the tents that housed deportees in Tijuana’s Plaza Constitución are gone.

Since last week, buses have been transporting former residents of this camp for deported migrants to a temporary shelter in Tecate, about 40 minutes east.

Baja California authorities set up the new shelter as part of a negotiation with the migrant camp leaders, from a group called Ángeles Sin Fronteras.

A fluctuating population of between 100 and 300 people had been living in the plaza since August, when local police cleared out the nearby canal where many down-and-out deportees set up precarious shelters.

On Monday morning, people sifted through piles of clothes, dirty blankets and other remnants of the camp. A garbage truck backed up into the plaza to clear out the remaining junk.

Margarito Castellón was about to board the bus headed to the shelter. He said he was deported a year ago from San José, California after living there since the 1970s.

Castellón said he hoped to find some work in Tecate so that he could head back to his hometown in the state Jalisco.

Baja California authorities are offering to pay for deportees to return to their hometowns within Mexico. They say the new temporary shelter can house up to 1,000 people.

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