The Mexico – U.S. border is the globe’s top migration corridor and known worldwide for its revolving door of migration, deportation and conflict. Approximately 300 deported people from the U.S. come back into Mexico through Tijuana each day, mainly due to lack of documents. For many deportees, the conditions upon arrival are worse than those that compelled them to leave in the first place and many return to communities that are even less safe than when they left.
What is not as widely known is that deported women and children, most of which have been in the U.S. for many years, comprise 10% of the daily arrivals into Tijuana. They lack resources, connections, and the support of family, and are at a far greater risk for human trafficking and abductions.
Recognizing this need, The Salvation Army in Tijuana opened the Casa Puerta de Esperanza, a shelter for women and children with funding support from The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO). Casa Puerta de Esperanza, which
means “Door of Hope,” accommodates up to 30 women and children at a time. The Salvation Army has also been serving the migrant community in Tijuana since 1957 through their Hostel for Migrant Men, which welcomes approximately 150 men each day.
Acting first and foremost as a safe haven, Door of Hope provides residents with lodging, food, counseling, referrals to medical services, social work, conferences, and workshops with the end goals of reconnecting them with their home country and helping them resume productive lives. Residents are allowed to stay up to three months, during which social workers help them find employment and residency.
“Thank God, though far from my family, I’m fine. I have a roof, and have food and I feel safe in this house,” one resident said. “I thank those supporters who help me and others who have been deported.”