Since they were deported, 21-year-old Jose Contreras, right, and a 24-year-old man named Alejandro, spend much of their time on the on the banks of the Tijuana trying to figure out how to get back into the U.S.
Every year, the Department of Homeland Security releases statistics showing how many deportations its enforcement agencies -– Immigration and Customs, the Border Patrol -- have carried out in the previous year.
On an average day, some 200,000 people cross the border north and south between Tijuana and San Diego, making the San Ysidro port of entry the busiest in the world -- and for commuters, a frustrating one. The wait to enter the U.S. regularly approaches three hours or more.
Now, as part of an ongoing multi-year expansion project at the port, the U.S. government is more than doubling the number of inspection booths, with the hope of cutting that wait down to 30 minutes tops.
As the Saint Jude Catholic Church's sanctuary reverberated with the tunes of a Spanish language band shortly before mass on Sunday evening, Amparo Gonzalez, 56, sat in a nearby pew, thumbing through this week’s church bulletin.
There, stamped on page two in English and Spanish, was a stern letter from San Diego’s bishop, Robert Brom, calling President Obama's recent rule requiring that religious institutions' health plans cover contraception unjust. He said it violated the collective Catholic conscience.