ESCUINAPA, Mexico (AP) – Migrants in a caravan of Central Americans scrambled Wednesday to reach the US border, arriving by…
ESCUINAPA, Mexico (AP) – Migrants in a caravan of Central Americans scrambled Wednesday to reach the US border, arriving by hundreds in Tijuana, while US authorities across the border managed straightforward security barriers.
Josue Vargas, an immigrant from Honduras who finally entered Tijuana on Wednesday after more than a month on the road, said “Mexico has been excellent, we have no complaint about Mexico. The United States remains to be seen.”
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, meanwhile, went to visit US troops posted to the southern Texas border and said that the deployment provides good education for war.
It did not deter arriving groups of Central Americans from going to the border fence in Tijuana to celebrate.
On Tuesday a couple of dozen migrants shredded the steel bar to celebrate their arrival, chanting “Yes, we could!” and a man released maps to the US side as border agents who looked at distances. He quickly jumped back to the fence.
Tijuana’s Head of Migration Services, Cesar Palencia Chavez, said the authorities offered me to immediately take the migrants to housing, but they refused first.
“They wanted to stay together in a single shelter,” said Palencia Chavez, “but it is not possible at the moment” 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 in groups of 30 or 40.
With a total of three caravans moving through Mexico, including 7000 to 10,000 immigrants at all, questions arose as to how Tijuana should handle such a large influx, especially given that American moves to tighten border security and make it harder to enforce asylum.
On Wednesday, buses and lorries carried some immigrants to the state of Sinaloa along California’s Gulf and further north to the border with Sonora.
Th e major part of the main car seemed to be about 1 100 miles from the border, but moved hundreds of miles a day.
Rev. Miguel Angel Soto, Chief of Casa de Migrante – Migrant House – In Sinaloa capital Culiacan, said about 2000 immigrants arrived in that area. He said the government, Roman Catholic Church and Escuinapa officials helped the migrants.
The priest also said that the church could have “good people” to give buses to move immigrants northward. He said so far 24 buses had left Escuinapa, Sinaloa, on an eight drive to Navojoa in the Sonora state. Small groups were reported in the northern cities of Saltillo and Monterrey, in the region near Texas.
From Sonora, some immigrants said they had already taken buses from Tijuana.
About 1,300 migrants in a second caravan were at a stadium in Mexico City where the first group had stayed last week
Many say they escape poverty, gang violence and political instability in the American countries Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Mexico has offered refuge, asylum or work visa, and its government said Monday that 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to individuals and families to cover them during 45-day application for more permanent status. Some 533 immigrants had requested voluntary return to their countries, the government reported.
The US government said it started working Tuesday to “cure” the border crossing from Tijuana in front of the caravans.
Customs and border protection announced the closed four lanes in the occupied San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports in San Diego, California, so that it could install infrastructure.
It still leaves a significant path for the tens of thousands of people crossing daily: three lanes are still open at San Ysidro and 12 at Otay Mesa.
San Ysidro is the limit of busiest crossing, with approximately 110,000 people entering the US every day. That traffic comprises about 40,000 vehicles, 34,000 pedestrians and 150 to 200 buses.