Migrants Reach US-Mexico Border, Likely Face Long Wait
Several hundred Central American migrants arrived Wednesday in the Mexican border city of Tijuana after a month of traveling in hopes of entering the United States.
About 800 migrants are now in Tijuana, and many said they would stay there and wait for the rest of their caravan to arrive and for leaders to advise them on their options for seeking U.S. asylum. Some of the early arrivals went to the border fence to celebrate.
The bulk of the migrant group, about 4,000 people mostly from Honduras, is making its way through the state of Sonora and is expected to arrive in Tijuana in a few days.
The San Ysidro port linking Tijuana to the U.S. city of San Diego, is the busiest crossing on the border. But it only processes about 100 asylum claims per day, meaning those in the caravan who seek that route face a long wait.
Tijuana could also feel the strain with migrant shelters there already at or near capacity.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday it was closing some vehicle lanes at the San Ysidro crossing and the nearby Otay Mesa crossing in order to install additional security “in preparation for the migrant caravan and the potential safety and security risk that it could cause.” Those measures include barricades, fencing, jersey walls and concertina wire.
U.S. President Donald Trump has sharply criticized the caravans, casting them as a “national emergency.” On Saturday, he signed a proclamation declaring migrants who enter the country illegally ineligible for asylum. That goes against laws that state anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how they entered the country.
Trump has also ordered thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to support border patrol agents.