Hundreds of migrants in the caravan traveling from Central America have begun arriving in the northern Mexico border city of Tijuana, setting up a potential confrontation with the American authorities that has been brewing for weeks.
About 800 migrants associated with the caravan have made it to Tijuana so far, according to local officials and advocates, with another 1,500 – 2,000 migrants expected to arrive by the end of Thursday, with many hundreds more showing up throughout the rest of the week. That influx could possibly overwhelm the city’s resources, they said.
Tijuana, long a migratory gateway to the United States, supports a constellation of migrant shelters. Prior to these first arrivals, migrants’ advocates said the shelters were already half full. César Anibal Palencia Chávez, Tijuana’s director of migrant services, said there were already some 2,800 migrants not related to the caravan waiting their turn to apply for asylum at the United States border, plus another 130 Mexican deportees, staying in Tijuana shelters.
After coming under fire from critics who accuse him of stoking fears about the migrant caravan as a threat to get Republicans to the polls for the midterm elections, President Trump has not tweeted about the caravan since the elections on November 6.
Olvin Joel Lobo Reyes, 21, who said he left Honduras because of poverty, hoped that the American authorities would relent and let them in. If that didn’t happen, he had a Plan B: to stay in Mexico and look for work. And even a Plan C: to sneak across the American border with the aid of a smuggler.
“Thanks to God, we made it,” he said. “All will be defined here.”
[New York Times]