SAN DIEGO – Mexican immigration authorities estimate that about 1,500 Ukrainians are waiting in Tijuana to seek asylum in the United States.

Only about 150 Ukrainians are being let into the U.S. daily due to the limited number of Customs and Border Protection officers processing claims, according to Mexican immigration officials with Ayunamiento Tijuana.

The growing number of Ukrainians at the border has led Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero to open up a gym to allow Ukrainians to stay there while they wait for their name to be called.  About 350 Ukrainians are staying inside the Benito Juarez sports center, said Enrique Lucero with Ayunamiento Tijuana.

Others are by the port of entry in tents, while others stay in nearby hotels.

San Diego resident Marina Wolff says she can relate to Ukrainians waiting at the border to seek asylum. Wolff’s sister recently fled their hometown in Ukraine and headed to Poland.

Wolff is currently raising money to send directly to her friend who is purchasing military gear for the local defense in Orikhiv.

“You cross the border, you feel safe, ok, good, what is next?” said Wolff.

Wolff says many of the Ukrainians seeking asylum are moms with young kids.

Title 42 is still in effect until May 23, but Ukrainians have been exempt, which has increased their presence at the border.

The Department of Homeland Security says, “consistent with the CDC order, DHS continues to grant Title 42 exceptions to particularly vulnerable individuals of all nationalities for humanitarian reasons. All exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.”

If you would like to help Wolff purchase items for the local defense in Ukraine, you can reach out to her via email at romazhka7@gmail.com.