A group of mostly male migrant caravan members gathered at a bridge in Tijuana just across from the U.S. border yesterday, demanding “better conditions” and pushing to enter the country.
Authorities from the National Human Righs Comission and a migrant support agency told the caravan members their needs would be addressed and suggested they apply for humanitarian visas in Mexico and seek work in Tijuana.
However, one migrant, 22-year-old Oscar Rodriguez of Honduras, told AP he wanted to convince “the United States to open its doors to us.”
Yesterday, President Trump threatened to close the entire border, telling reporters, “If we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” he said.
“The whole border. I mean the whole border,” he said, adding, “Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States.”
The president yesterday also lamented the amount of criminals within the migrant caravan, saying, “You’re dealing with a minimum of 500 serious criminals, so I’m not going to let the military be taken of advantage of. I have no choice. Do I want that to happen? Absolutely not. You’re dealing with rough people.”
About 34 caravan members were arrested in Tijuana earlier this week for drug possession, public intoxication, disturbing the peace and resisting police, and will be deported to their home countries.
The city’s mayor, Juan Manuel Gastelum stated residents were not comfortable with the caravan and compared the group to a group of 3,000 Haitians who ended up in the city last year after an unsuccessful attempt to reach the United States.
“The Haitians arrived with their papers, with a clear vision,” Gastelum said in an interview, stating they had come to the city “in an orderly way, they never asked us for food or shelter,” Gastelum said the Haitains rented apartments, made their own food, found jobs and “inserted themselves in the city’s economy” having never been involved in any disturbances.
In contrast, the mayor claims the migrants in the caravan, “had arrived all of sudden, with a lot of people – not all … but a lot – were aggressive and cocky.”
This morning, Trump took to Twitter and called for unity between Republicans and Democrats, urging them to come up with a border security plan which would include funding for the border wall.
Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall. After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2018