San Ysidro Stories

Voiceless children of San Ysidro

District-wide school strike prompts superintendent to hold fruitless meeting

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 9th, the interim superintendent of the San Ysidro School District, George Cameron, asked picketers of the teachers’ strike who stood outside the office to leave behind their signs ...

Hardship south of I-8, cont'd

San Ysidro community unhappy with 22-month-long project

On Wednesday, October 1st, the nonprofit Hearts & Hands organized a town-hall meeting at San Ysidro Middle School and San Diego city councilman David Alvarez was asked to speak about the planned infrastructure projects for ...

Hot girls love to cut

Fried chicken and needles — a morning border commute through Zona Norte

It's been a month since I got a part-time retail job at Sport Zone on Coronado Avenue in Chula Vista. The job is five miles away from my apartment, but sometimes it takes me up ...

Border-closure protest goes nowhere

San Ysidro unaffected by Shut Down All Ports of Entry demonstration

Shut Down All Ports of Entry, a group that bills itself as a “representation of Americans who are unsettled and deeply concerned with the current administration, in all branches of Federal and State governments,” had ...

Cheese train

Not much deterrent for illegal vendors on the trolley

A light-skinned Mexican wearing casual work clothes with a tie around his neck stands in the trolley with a black backpack. He looks around to make sure there are no security guards watching him. Then ...

Swell of support for border parking project

San Ysidro rep heads to DC with 5000 signatures

On Monday, September 8, Jason Wells, cofounder of the San Ysidro Border Coalition, will head to Washington D.C. to ask the federal government for UETA Duty Free Americas to retain three acres of land at ...

Our Lady of Guadalupe delivered meth

Paintings concealed drug deals at San Ysidro border crossing

Tijuana police say an anonymous tip led them to search merchandise at a roadside curio shop at the San Ysidro border crossing on August 26, where they discovered individual doses of heroin or methamphetamine hidden ...

Less beefy, more scrawny

No endorsement for young Tijuana baseball players

At the edge of Zona Norte, the downtown Tijuana neighborhood that abuts the border, there is a small sports park, Unidad Deportiva Benito Juárez. Families play basketball, kids enjoy an above-ground pool, boxers train inside ...

Trail for Humanity ends in San Ysidro

March for migrants — in protest of immigration policy

More than 100 people gathered at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan on Saturday morning, August 16, in support of Trail for Humanity, which was to conclude a 26-day journey from California's Central Valley to the ...

Dangers so severe

San Ysidro demonstrators stand up to “terrible anger” against children

People arriving at the San Ysidro Port of Entry were greeted by a group of prayerful demonstrators singing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" on Saturday, July 19. Pastor Sharon Stanley-Rea of the Disciples of Christ ...

FBI thinks they smell a rat

Border official charged with taking bribes, stealing government property

Timothy Francis Cashman, General Services Administration manager at Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, and Tecate ports of entry, was arrested July 1 and charged with taking bribes and stealing government property, according to the local office ...

Dangerous convict, gardener, or both?

Roughly 17% of apprehended illegal border crossers have criminal convictions

Of the more than 20,000 people apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego in the first eight months of this fiscal year, 3321 of them had a total of 6329 criminal convictions for ...

All about the parking spots

Border businessman offers a deal that may be hard to refuse

Simon Falic, chairman and chief operating officer of Duty Free Americas flew in from Miami on Monday, June 9, to unveil an architectural design for a multiuse structure at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. ...

Politichix and radio dudes do Tahmooressi protest

"He fought terrorists for our country and, you could say, for Mexico…"

A rally to support a Florida Marine reservist who remains in Mexican custody after he drove into Tijuana carrying three guns and 400 rounds of ammo drew about 75 people Wednesday night, May 28, including ...

Unimpressed by “road stop bathroom”

Architectural design for pedestrian border-crossing criticized

The San Ysidro Smart Border Coalition (SYSBC) held a forum on May 14 in the Willow Elementary School auditorium to discuss the anticipated spring 2016 opening of a new pedestrian border-crossing at Virginia Avenue. The ...

Phony construction worker busted by Border Patrol

Attempt at coffee klatch camouflage backfires

A Mexican national was arrested on Monday, April 7, after attempting to pose as a construction worker, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. At around 6:30 in the morning, a man arrived at ...

Smugglers try the horse trick at Smugglers Gulch

Worth risking the animals

Border Patrol agents in Imperial Beach are seeing an upsurge in bicycles and horses being used to smuggle humans across, Border Patrol spokesman Tim Hamill confirmed Friday. In the past few weeks, Border Patrol agents ...

Ed talks out of school

Sweetwater High teachers complain of class size, move one step closer to strike

The imminent strike action of teachers, librarians, and nurses in the Sweetwater Union High School district has gone one step forward and two steps back. On March 27 Superintendent Ed Brand called a press conference ...

At the house of frog tacos

This food truck delivers top food and bottom prices

You notice it as you come in on the Blue Line: The pool of light. The clump of customers. The mariscos (seafood) food truck. Everybody's standing around, heads forward, chowing down. Lotta customers: good sign. ...

SENTRI pass border-crossers frustrated

Route change and lack of signage creates clusterfunk

Drivers coming north from Tijuana through the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week have been struggling to figure out the new route to the SENTRI lanes — a route that hasn't worked well for ...

Unsafe border buses

A little-noticed report by the inspector general’s office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has found that software problems lasting almost a year, from September 2012 through August 2013, prevented U.S. state officials from ...

San Ysidro border station nearing completion

Photos show finishing touches being applied

The new border station in San Ysidro is nearing completion. Here is a series of photos showing the new station and some of its features.

Warning: Do not take weed into Mexico

A survey of who does and what happens if you do

“It seems like Border Patrol read your Tijuana junkie and dealer article,” my brother jokingly told me on Facebook. He had recently noticed a new sign posted near the border that reads “Medical marijuana prohibited ...

No uptick in border-business sales…yet

"It is going to impact the store. The majority of our customers are Mexican."

Though it is just after the buying season, San Diego border businesses are expecting an increase in traffic from the Mexican sales tax hike of 2014. "As of right now, it's pretty slow. We're not ...

Border Patrol training exercise moved up on schedule

Tactics to thwart border breaches like the one on November 24

With horses, shields, fake and real tear gas, and one biting dog, about 90 U.S. Border Patrol agents from the San Diego Sector trained for crowd and riot control atop Spooner's Mesa in the Tijuana ...

Video footage before “Viva Villa” border incident

Filmmakers came upon assembling masses, started recording

The three filmmakers producing under the name UK Balaam Productions seem to have nothing to do with instigating the November 24 border incident in which over 100 migrants confronted Border Patrol officers. In a long ...

Showdown #2 fizzles near San Ysidro Port of Entry

Demonstrators back off before confrontation occurs

This week, immigrant-rights activist Enrique Morones again praised the U.S. Border Patrol for the restraint they showed during the November 24 confrontation in the Tijuana River channel just east of the shopping malls. "They showed ...

“Viva Villa movement” under investigation

Note surfaces, documentary filmmakers deny involvement

Authorities are searching for who’s responsible for the attempt at a mass illegal border crossing on Sunday, November 24. At least 100 migrants tried to cross the border à la Cheech Marin in the film ...

Border Patrol confronted the Viva Villa movement

Incident involved 100 migrants — or a revolutionary brigade?

On Sunday, November 24, a group of over 100 migrants attempted to cross the border, walking toward it via the Tijuana River flood-control channel, coming face-to-face with Border Patrol officers. They group called it part ...

Border Patrol agents stop advancing crowd of 100

Rocks thrown, pepperball launchers deployed

A lone U.S Border Patrol agent posted south of Camino de la Plaza near the shopping malls east of the San Ysidro port of entry Sunday found himself fending off a crowd of people running ...

Latest San Ysidro transit center plan considered users

“They want a nice public bathroom. We wouldn't have thought of that."

San Ysidro residents got their first look at the latest set of plans for a new transportation center at the San Ysidro border crossing on Wednesday night, November 13. Residents who gathered at the San ...

U.S. government shutdown slows maquiladoras

Increased border waits limits exports

Ever since the “shutdown” of the U.S. government, maquiladoras have experienced plenty of extra expenditures, including fuel costs, keeping vehicles in “overnight” lots, and fines for delivering merchandise late. Gabriel Merino Fausto, president of a ...

Poets cause trouble at U.S.-Mexican border fence

“You know we’re going to see you.”

An international incident interrupted the "Poesía transfronteriza" poetry reading attended by over 60 people on August 25 at the border fence in Friendship Park. People on both sides of the border watched a series of ...

Document readers installed at San Ysidro border crossing

Draped in black plastic like a Christo art project

Crossing the border at San Ysidro last week, pedestrians, once inside the U.S. border station building, were greeted by mysterious devices at the head of each line. The devices appeared to be robotic in nature, ...

Southern Mexicans flock to San Ysidro and Otay

Anonymous source says they seek U.S. asylum

Hundreds of Mexicans fleeing the increasingly lawless state of Michoacán have sought asylum at the San Ysidro and Otay ports of entry this week, an anonymous source has told the Baja California daily El Mexicano. ...

Border-crosser subdued by agents in San Ysidro

Defiant man is sprayed into submission

Border-crossing pedestrians coming into San Ysidro witnessed a border-security takedown on August 5, as U.S. agents corralled a man and blasted him with a gaseous substance in order to arrest him. The incident occurred at ...

Did Manuel Paul illegally burn San Ysidro School District papers?

Whistleblower placed on administrative leave

Curious reports continue regarding burned papers retrieved from a burn barrel in the maintenance yard of the San Ysidro School District. The incident, which was first reported on July 3 by NBC7, resulted in the ...

Baja is back

Hip and delicious. There’s no reason not to get in your car and go.

Tijuana is making a comeback, thanks to hipsters, hypesters, and people that never gave up on the border city.

San Ysidrans object to aspects of proposed border design

“It’s really a big glorified trolley station.”

The San Ysidro Community Planning Group held a special meeting on July 10 at the Colonel Irving Salomon Community Activity Center to receive input from residents and business owners about land-use plans for the border ...

Border-crossing projects at San Ysidro and Tijuana

Widened road, new building

Border construction projects by the governments of the U.S. and Mexico were advancing at a rapid clip through the month of June. On the U.S. side, in San Ysidro, the three-story superstructure of the new ...

Incursions on the rise, says Border Patrol

Two vehicles with 35 people make attempt to cross

Faced with huge budget cuts at the midpoint of their fiscal year, Border Patrol agents from the Imperial Beach station (and other stations along the border) are doubling up in many of the patrol vehicles ...

Tijuana curio shops struggle to stay in business

Movement to stock “higher quality” products

The once-booming curio business on Tijuana's Avenida Revolución has dwindled to a trickle as the tastes of tourists who still visit what was once known as "the most traveled avenue in the world" have shifted, ...

The San Ysidro Port of Entry reconstruction plan

Entry lanes to nearly double

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) held a meeting at Casa Familiar’s arts and cultural center in San Ysidro on Thursday, May 9, to display plans for a massive reconstruction of the San Ysidro Port ...

Dept. of Homeland Security considers border entry fee

Money would make up for budget shortfall

A translation of a front-page headline on Baja’s daily El Mexicano on Tuesday, April 23, reads, "They Might Charge to Cross to the U.S.” beginning in 2014. The story was about the U.S. Department of ...

San Ysidro soon to have transportation center?

Grand scale, hands-on, model-making meeting

Over 60 community members gathered at the San Ysidro Civic Center on Thursday, April 18, to let their voices be heard about the potential building of a world-class “intermodal transportation center” at the San Ysidro ...

What the sequester means for the border

Mostly bad news

“April is the cruelest month…”, begins the first line of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land,” perhaps more aptly retitled “The Wait Land” for the border region. This April, federal budgetary squabbles and sequestration cuts ...

Baja California economy suffers for lack of northern visitors

Border waits partly to blame

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 ...

Controversial killings protested in San Ysidro

“Investigation” continues three years later

A group of about 250 demonstrators at the San Ysidro Port of Entry called for justice and transparency on Saturday, February 23. The loud and peaceful protesters, including the families of three people killed by ...

Mexican men rescued from San Ysidro sewer pipe

Trapped for more than 12 hours

Four illegal immigrants were rescued from a sewage filled pipe by San Diego Fire and Rescue on the night of Wednesday, February 13. Afterward, the men were hosed off and handed over to Customs and ...

Long Lines at San Ysidro Border Crossing

Seasonal congestion and construction in progress

Long lines and long waits appear to be the daily order at the border this holiday season. Earlier this week, pedestrians stretched back a quarter of a mile; those waiting to cross in cars went ...

New pedestrian inspection station soon at Tijuana border 

New rectangular columns of steel rebar sprout into space from a plot of land on the Mexican side of the border at San Ysidro. The columns, easily reaching the height of the multistoried office building ...

Baby Saved at San Ysidro Border

Border Patrol to the rescue

On Tuesday morning, November 27, at about 6:30, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro border crossing helped save the life of a month-old baby who appeared to be suffering from serious ...

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