TIJUANA, Mexico – Tons of of Tijuana residents congregated round a monument in an prosperous part of town south of California on Sunday to protest the hundreds of Central American migrants who’ve arrived by way of caravan in hopes of a brand new life within the U.S.
Tensions have constructed as practically three,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in latest days after greater than a month on the highway, and with many extra months forward of them whereas they search asylum. The federal authorities estimates the variety of migrants might quickly swell to 10,000.
U.S. border inspectors are processing solely about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s important crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered pocket book managed by migrants themselves that had greater than three,000 names even earlier than the caravan arrived.
READ MORE: Tons of from migrant caravan arrive in Tijuana, get first glimpse of U.S. border
On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican nationwide anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in entrance of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a hazard to Tijuana. Additionally they complained about how the caravan compelled its means into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” They usually voiced worries that their taxes is likely to be spent to take care of the group.
“We don’t need them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted.
Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, mentioned the federal government must conduct background checks on the migrants to verify they don’t have prison information.
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A lady who gave her title as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she mentioned got here to Mexico seeking handouts. “Let their authorities deal with them,” she informed video reporters overlaying the protest.
A block away, fewer than a dozen Tijuana residents stood with indicators of help for the migrants. Keila Samarron, a 38-year-old trainer, mentioned the protesters don’t characterize her mind-set as she held an indication saying: Childhood has no borders.
A lot of the migrants who’ve reached Tijuana by way of caravan in latest days set out greater than a month in the past from Honduras, a rustic of 9 million individuals. Dozens of migrants within the caravan who’ve been interviewed by Related Press reporters have mentioned they left their nation after dying threats.
However the journey has been laborious, and lots of have circled.
WATCH: Drone video captures present state of affairs at Tijuana, Mexico border crossing
Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico,informed the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their nation for the reason that caravan first set out on Oct. 13, and that he hopes extra will make that call. “We would like them to return to Honduras,” mentioned Rivera.
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Honduras has a homicide charge of 43 per 100,000 residents, just like U.S. cities like New Orleans and Detroit. Along with violence, migrants within the caravan have talked about poor financial prospects as a motivator for his or her departures. Per capita revenue hovers round $120 a month in Honduras, the place the World Financial institution says two out of three individuals dwell in poverty.
The migrants’ anticipated lengthy keep in Tijuana has raised issues in regards to the potential of the border metropolis of greater than 1.6 million individuals to deal with the inflow.
WATCH: Buses shuttle migrants into Tijuana
Whereas many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and making an attempt to help,some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The chilly reception contrasts sharply with the heat that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, the place residents of small cities greeted them with scorching meals, campsites and even dwell music.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has referred to as the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that town is ill-prepared to deal with, calculating that they are going to be in Tijuana for a minimum of six months as they wait to file asylum claims.Gastelum has appealed to the federal authorities for extra help to deal with the inflow.
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Mexico’s Inside Ministry mentioned Saturday that the federal authorities was flying in meals and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana.
Tijuana officers transformed a municipal gymnasium and leisure advanced right into a shelter to maintain migrants out of public areas. Town’s privately run shelters have a most capability of 700. The municipal advanced can maintain as much as three,000.
On the municipal shelter, Josue Caseres, 24, expressed dismay on the protests in opposition to the caravan. “We’re fleeing violence,” mentioned the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. “How can they assume we’re going to come right here to be violent?”
WATCH: Migrant caravan begins remaining trek in the direction of Tijuana on buses
Some from the caravan have diverted to different border cities, similar to Mexicali, a couple of hours to the east of Tijuana.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a marketing campaign challenge within the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice help for the mayor of Tijuana and attempt to discourage the migrants from searching for entry to the U.S.
Trump wrote that like Tijuana, “the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and won’t stand for it. They’re inflicting crime and massive issues in Mexico. Go residence!”
He adopted that tweet by writing: “Catch and Launch is an out of date time period. It’s now Catch and Detain. Unlawful Immigrants making an attempt to return into the usA., typically proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will likely be detained or turned away.”