Seagate’s factory, farm and fishing operations are located in Ensenada, Baja California … just 60 miles south of Tijuana. Most of the news coming out of this region has been about the “caravans” of migrants from Central America. They have now been camped along the Tijuana/San Diego border for several weeks. It is estimated that their numbers have grown close to 8,000 people. This is an unfortunate situation for the people involved and for the residents of Tijuana … but never-the-less a part of Seagate’s World.
We have seen some very minor impact of this mass of people on our shipping schedules and the movement of people from our San Diego office to our plant due to occasional closures of the border by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol whenever the migrants have rushed the border. Seagate normally programs a lot of work to occur before the end of year — moving finished processed product to our San Diego warehouse and funding our end-of-year expenses in Mexico. However, our 38 years of experience in working the border has trained us to be prepared for all situations. This year products flowed and payments were made uninterrupted.
The people of Tijuana are paying the price for the migrants being stopped. The cost for supporting these people are breaking the city. Garbage and unsanitary conditions are increasing. President Trump and our Border Patrol have done an excellent job at protecting the U.S. from the multiple illegal runs at the border.
Granted, the conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Hondurus are awful. However, these caravans appear to have some political organization from certain entities in the U.S. Most of our great grandparents or their families were immigrants to the U.S. However, they entered the U.S. legally, and applied for immigrant status to eventually become U.S. citizens. They did not get off at Ellis Island waving German or Austrian flags or try to knock over tables and fences to escape into the U.S.
The sort of behavior by the migrants is a shame. There are thousands of job openings in Tijuana’s maquiladora factories. The Mexican government had offered most of these people who were not criminals immigration status to be able to live and work in Mexico. They were given food, which by local custom included refried beans. The migrants refused the work, the chance to stay and live in Mexico and even dumped the beans and the water bottles. They wanted sodas and beer. People asking for help also should show good manners, be grateful for the help that they are given, and show proper behavior by not throwing rocks and bottles when they are not allowed to jump a fence.
This Blackbar Soldierfish hiding along a Cayman Island reef below had a good idea about escaping some of these headaches. When all else fails, just go down 80 feet underwater and things tend to have a different sense of urgency. Lesson #2, just be thankful not to have been born in Honduras.