Baja California residents spend three times more money in the U.S. than do Americans visiting south of the border, according to Armando Rogelio Lara Valle, the director of Baja California's planning and development committee.
According to 2011 statistics, visitors from Baja California spent $6 billion in the U.S., while visitors from the U.S. traveling to Baja spent $2 billion, the Tijuana daily El Mexicano recently reported.
Long waits at the border have discouraged Americans from visiting Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, and other cities in Baja California, while their Baja California counterparts are willing to put up with border waits of up to four hours, said Lara Valle.
Baja residents have to go to the U.S. because they work there or have to travel north to make purchases — what Lara Valle described as trips of necessity — while Americans won't put up with the long waits because they are traveling mostly for enjoyment.
Lara Valle blamed the long waits at the border on a reduction in personnel by U.S. officials at the U.S. ports of entry.
Baja California also remains atop the list of Mexican states receiving citizens of Mexico deported by the U.S. government, Lara Valle said. Though the number of those deported to Tijuana from the U.S. has dropped from 39 percent to 32 percent of total deportations to Mexico between 2010 and 2011, Baja California is still first on the list of thousands of Mexicans without money or jobs sent back to Mexico, he said.