TIJUANA, MEXICO—Over 3,000 migrants have reached the U.S. border near Tijuana, Mexico. Close to 2,700 are Central American migrants who applied for asylum in Mexico under the program launched just last month promising to provide them work and living arrangements.
The majority of migrants coming into Mexico have set up camp on a dirt baseball field at a sports complex in Tijuana. A newly erected barbed wire fence separates them from the United States. A truck parked in the street provides a shower for the women, while the men are asked to use outdoor makeshift showers nearby.
“These are people, we want to do what we can for them. In Honduras, we respect human rights,” said Alden Rivera, the Honduran Ambassador of Mexico.
According to reports, violence has transpired in the streets resulting in an increase of crime in the region. In an interview with Milenio Television, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum described the caravan of Central American migrants as a “horde” that has been infiltrated by criminals who now threaten the community.
“Tijuana is a city of immigrants but we don’t want them in this way. It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression,” said Gastelum. “You’re going to tell me we have to respect human rights, but human rights are for law-abiding humans,” Gastelum added.
President Trump tweeted: “The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico just stated that “the city is ill-prepared to handle this many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months. Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go Home!”
The United States is currently processing 100 people a day who are seeking asylum in the country.
President Trump, in an attempt to control the massive influx of people attempting to cross the border issued a proclamation on November 9 that anyone crossing between ports of entry should be ineligible for asylum. He added that the asylum barrier was necessary to stop what he considers a national security threat.
On Monday, November 19, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, a nominee of former President Barack Obama, filed a suit challenging President Trump arguing that the U.S. immigration law allows an individual to seek asylum even if they are inbetween ports of entry. A tota; of 107 people have been detained between border crossings.
“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” said Tigar.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates over 70,000 people seeking asylum annually.