Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

Things Never Get Better At U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing

John Derby Headshot
Times Publisher John Derby

After waiting almost three hours at the border crossing in Tijuana, I decided to try a different approach. I parked my vehicle, and walked across the border into Mexico.

Many people do this on a daily basis; however, since COVID-19 hit, this border walk has been closed most days.

This day it was open, in fact it was a special day as I found out. There was a camera crew waiting at the American side of the border crossing. Being nosey as ever, I asked them who they were taking pictures of.

They said the first of more than 10,000 migrants from all over Central America were due to cross any minute now. This was due to President Biden’s new policy at the border. The camera crew from CBS said that the10,000 would not just be turned loose, but put in holding camps on the U.S. side of the border.

The crew said these people were not Mexican citizens, and many had COVID-19 but the Mexican health agencies could not care for them because their hospitals were already full and overflowing.

Crossing the border into Mexico was easy enough for a tourist walk-in; however, the opposite was true for anyone wanting to cross the border in the opposite direction, as I was soon to find out.

After completing a doctors appointment in Mexico, the private clinic had a driver take me back to the border, and he put me on a Mexican van which quickly drove to the front of the line. I noted the long line of people waiting to walk across the border into the United States, and it was apparent they did not move ahead.

The van only charged $7 a person for the ride; however, after a half-hour wait, the van started moving backward. It was not the only one. Pretty soon the van was back at the original place where I had gotten on and everyone was now getting off. We were told that the border officials were not allowing any further buses to the head of the line.

The only thing I could assume is that in order to let the first of the 10,000 migrants across, the regular flow of people who crossed on foot needed to be stopped. Everyone was given their $7 back.

I really needed to get back to San Diego, where my car was parked, that very same day. I suddenly found myself in an urgent situation.

There was another border crossing at Tecate which was over 40 miles due east. There were cabs waiting for people to cross. I asked a driver how much it would cost to drive me to Tecate. He said $40, but when I haggled he dropped the price to $30 and I got in.

The conversation and the hair-raising ride was worth the $30.The fact that my life was in jeopardy was no problem as I was ready to meet my maker.

Once in the Tecate border town, I paid the cabby the original $40 and was happy to do it; however, I was now left with another problem: How do I get back to San Diego?

My first approach was to hitchhike, and when a lady walked up and handed me 10 pesos, I realized I was looking pretty rough.

Fortunately as I was waiting in the line to cross the border, I offered to pay another man for his gas if he would take me with him to San Diego since there were no direct bus routes from Tecate to San Diego.

The man turned out to be a computer tech guy. He ended up going out of his way to drive me to San Diego, and right up to my car.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More