Members of a migrant caravan traveling across Mexico began arriving at the U.S. border on Thursday.
Twenty-two buses carrying some 800 Central American migrants docked in Tijuana. Their arrival marks the end of a month’s journey for many members of the caravan.
“We’ve finally reached Tijuana. I can’t wait to see the border. It’s been a never-ending journey, but God brought us here,” Honduran migrant Carmen Soto said.
Soto, reports Yahoo! News, has two young children in tow. Other migrants came by themselves, in groups or with relatives. At least 750 asylum-seekers and prospective immigrants have already reached Tijuana in the past several days. All hope to enter the United States by way of San Diego, legally or not.
On the other side of the border, thousands of troops deployed by President Donald Trump are assisting federal agents erect concrete barriers and razor-wire fences.
The caravan, says Yahoo!, has been characterized as an ‘invasion’ by the commander-in-chief.
And, according to Fox News, several migrants have already been arrested in their bids to start anew in the United States. A dozen were taken into custody Wednesday night, detained along the U.S.-Tijuana border by CBP officials.
Another, smaller group was arrested near Playas de Tijuana, a Mexican beach abutting San Diego and the Pacific Ocean.
Fox claims that fights have broken out between ‘local Mexicans and Hondurans.’ Migrants say that some locals were yelling, “Go home! We don’t want you here!”
An elaboration by the Desert Sun suggests that protesting Mexicans were upset by the presence of migrants in the ‘upscale Playas de Tijuana neighborhood.’ Waving flags and shouting slogans, they demanded that the caravan vacate a makeshift camp just ‘steps from the tall’ fence that separates Tijuana and San Diego.
“This is not an appropriate place for them,” one local resident said. “There are appropriate places for them.”
Scuffles between migrants and Mexican protesters were purportedly allowed to occur without any interference from local police. The Desert Sun adds that three journalists were injured in the clashes.
One Honduran migrant, 22-year old Jairo Sorto, said migrants were unprepared for the hostility they’d face in Tijuana.
“We’ve walked across Mexico and not one state said, ‘we don’t want immigrants in this country,” he said, wondering why Tijuana seems so different from the rest of the country.
Despite arrests and confrontations, few members of the caravan are ready to give up or go home. Still, uncertainty runs rampant.
“We have to see what we’re offered, just so they don’t send us back to our country,” Sorto told reporters.
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