San Diego and Tijuana are often spoken about together in many different subject matters. Unfortunately, many times it is plain negative. In particular, San Diego’s economy is often the subject at hand and how those that live in Tijuana and work in San Diego County affect it. What many in the United States do not know is that there are approximately 50,000 cars and 25,000 pedestrians who cross the newly renovated Chaparral border northbound into San Diego daily. ‘What are these border crossers doing after they cross?’ many people ask.
They are doing all kinds of neat stuff for San Diego County’s economy. According to recent studies, 61% of Mexican nationals who cross the border are there to shop, 13% are there to visit family and friends, 21.7% are there to work, .07% receive health care services (Mexico does have some of the best and affordable medical care in North America), 2.2% are tourists and .07% go to school. Crossborder Group Inc., a market research company states that one of their surveys showed that Mexico-residing crossers shop frequently in San Diego spending on average $150-$160 per trip with even bigger spending during the holidays. What’s even more shocking to learn for many Americans is that 99% of all border crossings at the San Diego-Tijuana border are legal crossings! The point here is that border crossers are not what most Americans believe them to be with the amount of money they spend in the region yearly.
The San Diego Dialogue cited that Tijuana area residents spend approximately $2.8 billion in the U.S. annually. In San Diego County alone they spend $100 million a year in sales taxes! 2% of Tijuanan crossings account for weekday crossings and 6% of the weekend crossings. Most frequently they will cross for a sporting event like a San Diego Chargers came. During the holidays they will shop ‘till they drop, as American products are extremely popular in border cities in Mexico. They will also attend cultural events, concerts or many of the amusement parks to choose from in San Diego County.
What does this all mean? It means that border crossers get a bad reputation because of a few bad guys. What is the saying? One mouse dropping ruins the whole pot of rice? Do all men scratch their groin area in public? Are all women horrible drivers? Do all English people have bad teeth? No! This world does not function in an ‘all or nothing’ mode. There is a little of everything, everywhere, and in between. Therefore, the unfortunate behavior of some really bad people does not speak for an entire race or even region of people. Bad things happen everywhere and bad things can happen anywhere. Most border crossers have been a blessing to the U.S. Hopefully after having read this article; a few negative Nellys might see things differently.