Tijuana border crossing shut as Mexicans protest against arrival of migrant caravan


Customs and Border Protection closed down northbound traffic at a port of entry in San Ysidro, California, for three hours ― ending around 6:25 a.m. ― on Monday after receiving intelligence that some migrants were considering rushing through lanes for automobiles. "They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an 'invasion.' And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group", adds the AP.

"We don't want them in Tijuana", protesters shouted.

Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, told the AP that the Mexican government needs to conduct background checks on the migrants to make sure they don't have criminal records.

Eric Gay/Associated Press. Members of the U.S. military install multiple tiers of concertina wire along the banks of the Rio Grande near the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge at the U.S. -Mexico border, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Laredo, Texas.

But it turned out to be a false alarm - the CBP said no migrants never came.

Since 2016, thousands of Haitians who also tried to get to the US ended up settling here, while at the same time, Tijuana has taken in thousands of Mexicans deported from the United States. Trump said at one point that he might send as many as 15,000 troops to the border, but as of last week, had deployed about 5,900. "Who is leading them?"

The agency, with the help of troops from the Department of Defense, "appropriately responded by blocking the lanes, deploying additional personnel and seeking assistance from other law enforcement and federal assets", she said, sharing pictures of concertina wire put up around the port of entry.

Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their country since the caravan first set out on October 13, and that he hopes more will make that decision. "Nobody in CBP wants to close a port unless they're actually driven to do so".

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Approximately 100 cases per day are completed and wait times can be as long as six months.

Tijuana officials have converted a municipal gymnasium to hold 3,000 migrants, and the city's privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700.

"We are fleeing violence", said Josue Caseres, an entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras.

"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that", he said.

As migrants wait to apply for asylum in the USA, protesters for and against the caravan are speaking out; William La Jeunesse reports from Tijuana.

Edwin Alexander Gomez, 20, told AP in San Salvador that he wants to work construction in NY, where he hears the wages are better and the city is safer.

Hundreds of local residents on Sunday massed at a monument in a wealthy neighborhood of Tijuana to protest the arrival of the migrants, with some carrying signs that said "Mexico first" and "No more migrants". They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico.

He tweeted: "Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain", he tweeted. AP writer Julie Watson contributed to this story from Tijuana and Marcos Aleman contributed from San Salvador.