Weakened Invading Migrant Groups Arrive at US Southern Border
Invading migrants from Central Americans have reached the US southern border, catching rides on buses and trucks for hundreds of miles in the last leg of the journey Wednesday as the 1st groups began arriving in the border City of Tijuana.
Authorities in Tijuana were struggling to deal with a group of 357 migrants who arrived aboard 9 buses Tuesday and another group about the same size that was approaching the city Wednesday.
The 1st group immediately went to a stretch of border fence at the beach in Tijuana to celebrate.
About 24 migrants scaled the steel border fence to celebrate their arrival, chanting “Yes, we could!” and 1 man dropped over to the US side briefly as border agents watched from a distance.
Tijuana’s head of migrant services, Cesar Palencia Chavez, said authorities offered to take the migrants to shelters immediately, but they initially refused.
“They wanted to stay together in a single shelter,” Palencia Chavez said, “but at this time that’s not possible” because shelters are designed for smaller groups and generally offer separate facilities for men, women and families.
But he said that after their visit to the border, most were taken to shelters in groups of 30 or 40.
With a total of 3 caravans moving through Mexico including 7,000 to 10,000 migrants in all, questions arose as to how Tijuana would deal with such a huge influx, especially given US moves to tighten border security and make it harder to claim asylum.
Wednesday, buses and trucks carried some migrants into the state of Sinaloa along the Gulf of California and further northward into the border state of Sonora.
The bulk of the main caravan appeared to be about 1,100 miles from the border, but was moving hundreds of miles per day by truck and bus
From Sonora, some migrants said they had already caught buses from to Tijuana.
About 1,300 migrants in a 2nd caravan were resting at a stadium in Mexico City, where the first group had stayed last week
Many say they are fleeing poverty, gang violence and political instability in the Central American countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
The US government started to work Tuesday to harden the border crossing from Tijuana ahead of the caravans.
Customs and Border Protection announced it was closing four lanes at the busy San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry in San Diego, California, so it could install infrastructure.
That leaves a substantial path for the tens of thousands of people who cross daily: 23 lanes remain open at San Ysidro and 12 at Otay Mesa.
San Ysidro is the border’s busiest crossing, with about 110,000 people entering the US every day. That traffic includes some 40,000 vehicles, 34,000 pedestrians and 150 to 200 buses.