Tijuana protesters chant ‘Out!’ at migrants camped in city

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — A whole lot of Tijuana residents congregated round a monument in an prosperous part of the town south of California on Sunday to protest the 1000’s of Central American migrants who’ve arrived through caravan in hopes of a brand new life within the U.S.

Tensions have constructed as almost 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in current 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 may quickly swell to 10,000.

U.S. border inspectors are processing solely about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s foremost crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered pocket book managed by migrants themselves that had greater than 3,000 names even earlier than the caravan arrived.

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 kilometers) 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 manner into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” They usually voiced worries that their taxes is perhaps spent to look after the group.

“We do not need them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted.

A girl who gave her identify as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she mentioned got here to Mexico in quest of handouts. “Let their authorities handle them,” she instructed video reporters overlaying the protest.

Many of the migrants who’ve reached Tijuana through caravan in current 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 exhausting, and plenty of have rotated.

Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, instructed 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.

Honduras has a homicide fee of 43 per 100,000 residents, much 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 reside in poverty.

The migrants’ anticipated lengthy keep in Tijuana has raised issues in regards to the means of the border metropolis of greater than 1.6 million individuals to deal with the inflow.

Whereas many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ plight and attempting 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 sizzling meals, campsites and even reside music.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has known as the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the town is ill-prepared to deal with, calculating that they are going to be in Tijuana for no less than six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal authorities for extra help to deal with the inflow.

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 complicated right into a shelter to maintain migrants out of public areas. The town’s privately run shelters have a most capability of 700. The municipal complicated can maintain as much as 3,000.

Some from the caravan have diverted to different border cities, resembling Mexicali, a couple of hours to the east of Tijuana.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a marketing campaign subject within the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice assist for the mayor of Tijuana and attempt to discourage the migrants from in search of 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 large issues in Mexico. Go dwelling!”

He adopted that tweet by writing: “Catch and Launch is an out of date time period. It’s now Catch and Detain. Unlawful Immigrants attempting to return into the usA., usually proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, might be detained or turned away.”

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Related Press author Julie Watson contributed to this story from Tijuana.

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