Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said Thursday that caravan migrants arriving by the hundreds are no longer welcome, an increasingly common sentiment among residents of the Mexican border city.
Gastelum described the caravan of Central American migrants as a “horde” that has been infiltrated by criminals who now threaten the community, in an interview with Milenio Television.
“Tijuana is a city of immigrants, but we don’t want them in this way,” the mayor, a member of the conservative National Action Party, said. “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.” . . .
The 4,000-strong caravan, a mix of families seeking asylum and economic migrants, continues to arrive in Tijuana after a journey of more than 2,500 miles from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border. Caravan organizers could have chosen a much shorter route to the border near the southern tip of Texas, but opted for Tijuana in part because the city had already hosted a similar group in April.
But the arrival of another caravan has frustrated local officials and residents who worry that the massive group of homeless Central Americans will be stuck in Tijuana indefinitely. U.S. border authorities are processing about 90 asylum seekers per day at the ports of entry near Tijuana, where there was a wait list of more than 3,000 people even before the caravan arrived. (Read more from “Tijuana Mayor Denounces ‘Horde’ of Caravan Migrants” HERE)