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Mexico Pushing For Reopening Of California-Baja California Border

Mexico’s president was recently in the state of Baja California, and said the recent vaccination push should open the door for loosening restrictions for crossing the border.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador praised the rapid administration of roughly 1.2 million doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in just over a week. He also thanked the United States, which recently donated 1.35 million doses to help get all adults along Mexico’s northern border vaccinated.

“We thank them because health is a fundamental human right,” AMLO, as he is widely known, said. “We have to give each other a hand, help each other, not be selfish, not turn our backs on those suffering, those who need our support. There must be solidarity and we have to move toward that beautiful ideal of universal fraternity.”

He said his government is already reaching out to U.S. authorities, as well as the California Governor’s Office and San Diego officials, about the possibility of a reopening, which he says would benefit both countries.

With the exception of a small portion of the U.S. donation that went to San Luis Rio Colorado in Sonora, the Baja California effort used up nearly all of those doses. It’s not yet clear where additional doses for all adult Mexican border residents will come from.

Northbound crossing restrictions have been in place since March 2020, keeping many Mexicans with visas from shopping or seeing friends and family in the United States for now well over a year. U.S. citizens, however, have largely not faced restrictions to cross into Mexico.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.