Residents stand on a hill earlier than barriers, wrapped in concertina wire, setting apart Mexico and the United States, where the border meets the Pacific Ocean, in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Many of the almost three,000 migrants get reached the border with California. The mayor has known as the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is in uncomfortable health-intriguing to handle. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
TIJUANA, Mexico – Many of the almost three,000 Central American migrants who get reached the Mexican border with California through caravan mentioned Saturday they attain no longer feel welcome within the city of Tijuana, where hundreds more migrants are headed after greater than a month on the road.
The gargantuan majority had been camped at an out of doors sports actions advanced, drowsing on a mud baseball discipline and below bleachers with a look for of the steel partitions topped by barbed wire at the newly bolstered U.S.-Mexico border. Town opened the advanced after other shelters had been filled to ability. Church groups supplied portable showers, lavatories and sinks. The federal authorities estimates the migrant crowd in Tijuana would possibly perhaps perhaps likely soon swell to 10,000.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has known as the migrants’ arrival an “avalanche” that the city is in uncomfortable health-intriguing to handle, calculating that they’ll be in Tijuana for no longer decrease than six months as they wait to file asylum claims. U.S. border inspectors are processing handiest about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had greater than three,000 names even earlier than the caravan arrived.
While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants’ jam and attempting to wait on, some locals get shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at the migrants.
Or no longer it’s a stark distinction to the many Mexican communities that welcomed the caravan with indicators, tune and donations of garments after it entered Mexico almost a month within the past. Endless residents of rural areas pressed fruit and baggage of water into the migrants’ fingers as they handed through southern Mexico, wishing them stable journeys.
Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, visited the out of doorways sports actions advanced Saturday. Rivera expects the migrants will must be sheltered for eight months or more, and mentioned he’s working with Mexico to derive more funds to feed and like them. He expects the migrant numbers in Tijuana to attain three,four hundred over the weekend, with one other 1,200 migrants having made it to Mexicali, one other border city a couple of hours to the east of Tijuana. An additional 1,500 migrants conception to attain the U.S. border space subsequent week.
Rivera mentioned 1,800 Hondurans get returned to their country since the caravan first space out on Oct. thirteen, and that he hopes more will create that determination.
“We need them to return to Honduras,” Rivera mentioned, adding that every and each migrant must weigh whether to head home, attraction for asylum in Mexico or wait in line to squawk for asylum within the U.S.
The Mexican Interior Ministry mentioned Friday that 2,697 Central American migrants get requested asylum in Mexico below a program that the country launched on Oct. 26 to more rapidly derive them credentials significant to are residing, work and look for in southern Mexico.
Ivis Muñoz, 26, has truly appropriate returning to Honduras. The espresso farmer known as his father in Atima, Honduras, on Saturday to consult on his subsequent switch a couple of days after being attacked on a seashore by locals in Tijuana. His father suggested him to stay it out.
Munoz has a bullet in his leg. A gang member shot him a twelve months within the past in Honduras and threatened to execute him if he sees him again. Munoz mentioned he chanced on out later his female friend had been cheating on him with the crowd member.
He’s petrified to head home, but he feels unwelcome in Tijuana.
Munoz changed into as soon as asleep on a seashore in Tijuana with about two dozen other migrants when rocks got here raining down on them around 2 a.m. Wednesday. He heard a man shout within the darkness: “We don’t favor you here! Return to your country!” Munoz and the others received up and ran for duvet, heading in direction of the residential streets nearby. As the sun rose, they hitched a roam on a passing truck to Tijuana’s downtown. Now he’s staying at the sports actions advanced.
“I do no longer know what to attain,” mentioned Munoz. He fears the U.S. would possibly perhaps perhaps likely no longer grant him asylum, and that he’ll derive deported if he tries to dreadful into the country without authorization.
Carlos Padilla, Fifty seven, a migrant from Progreso, Honduras, mentioned a Tijuana resident shouted “migrants are pigs” as he handed on the road recently. He did no longer reply. “We did no longer attain here to reason complications, we got here here with delight in and so that you just would possibly perhaps inquire of for asylum,” Padilla mentioned. “But they take care of us love animals here.”
Padilla mentioned he will likely return to Honduras if the U.S. rejects his asylum request.
The migrants’ expected lengthy enjoy in Tijuana has raised concerns in regards to the ability of the border city of greater than 1.6 million to handle the influx.
Tijuana officials mentioned they transformed the municipal gymnasium and leisure advanced into a shelter to raise migrants out of public spaces. Town’s privately poke shelters get a maximum ability of 700. The municipal advanced can protect up to three,000; as of Friday night there get been 2,397 migrants there.
Some trade home owners shut to the shelter complained on Saturday of migrants panhandling and stealing.
Francisco Lopez, 50, owns a furnishings store nearby. He mentioned a crew of migrants took food from a tiny grocery a couple of doorways down, and he worries that crime within the space will upward push the longer the migrants enjoy at the shelter.
Other neighbors expressed empathy.
“These uncomfortable other americans get left their country and they’re in an irregular do aside,” mentioned Maria de Jesus Izarraga, Sixty eight, who lives two blocks from advanced.
As Izarraga spoke from her home’s entrance door, a man interrupted to inquire of for money to exhaust a plate of beans. He mentioned he got here with the caravan and had blisters on his feet. She gave him some pesos, and persisted speaking: “I am hoping this all works out within the marvelous probably plan.”
Outside the advanced, traces of migrants snaked alongside the road to procure donations of garments and coolers fat of bottled water being dropped off by charity groups and others taking a look for to wait on the migrants.
Felipe Garza, fifty five, acknowledged that many in his place of origin don’t are attempting to wait on as he and other volunteers from his church handed migrants espresso and rolls at the impromptu municipal shelter. “Or no longer it’s miserable to procure the type of expansive multitude of participants, but it undoubtedly’s a truth that now we get got to handle,” he mentioned.
Garza surmised that if the Central People behave, Tijuana will embody them most inviting because it did 1000’s of Haitians in 2016. These Haitians get since opened drinking locations, hair salons and enrolled in local universities.
Police officer Victor Coronel is of the same opinion but wonders how a ways more the city can engage. “The ideal thing we are in a position to attain is hope that President (Donald) Trump opens his heart a minute,” mentioned Coronel.
Trump, who sought to create the caravan a marketing campaign field in final week’s elections, took to Twitter on Friday to goal new criticism at the migrants.
“Is no longer undoubtedly it ironic that gorgeous Caravans of participants are marching to our border looking out U.S.A. asylum on legend of they are anxious of being in their country — but they are proudly waving … their country’s flag. Can this be probably? Nice, on legend of it’s all a BIG CON, and the American taxpayer is paying for it,” Trump mentioned in a pair of tweets.
Associated Press creator Amy Guthrie in Mexico City contributed to this memoir.