American businesses see drop in shoppers from Mexico

ONLY ON KOLD: Border businesses see drop in shoppers

SAN YSIDRO, CA (Tucson News Now) - Thousands of migrants from Central America have flooded Tijuana, Mexico, with the goal of seeking asylum in the United States.

While they await something that might never come, impatience is growing on both sides of the border.

The hum of border-patrolling helicopters looms over the city of San Ysidro, CA, as dozens of Customs and Border Protection officers suit up in riot gear.

Could this be the new normal along the border? Many fear it might be.

When a group of migrants rushed the border fence late last month, the San Ysidro Port of Entry wasn’t the only thing forced to shut down.

Some businesses were evacuated, others were forced to close their doors because their primary customer base was stuck in Mexico.

Kendra Gueda’s clothing store was one of them.

Gueda says she’s put sale signs throughout the store in hopes of enticing customers, but says people are still scared and business has slowed down a lot.

Shop owners in San Ysidro, CA, are hoping the drop in cross-border business isn't permanent. (Source: KOLD News 13)
Shop owners in San Ysidro, CA, are hoping the drop in cross-border business isn't permanent. (Source: KOLD News 13)

Doda Benaroya owns a blanket shop just down the road.

She says Christmas time doesn’t feel the same. She’s buying less merchandise since she’s seeing less people willing to cross the border to shop.

As a migrant from Turkey herself, Benaroya says the situation hurts her heart.

She says it’s not the migrants' fault that they’re looking for a different life.

But she fears they won’t find one in the U.S.

She says there’s poverty here, too, and knows firsthand how hard it can be to adapt to a new country – especially if you’re not welcome.

Benaroya says either way it’s going to be difficult - a difficult adaptation for everyone.

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