The migrant caravan from Central America — which President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned about, and which the liberal media have repeatedly dismissed as not a threat — has continued to slowly work its way through Mexico, with the first waves of the thousands-strong group reaching Tijuana on the Mexican-U.S. border in recent days.
Unfortunately for the migrants who arrived in Tijuana, they have found a far less welcoming reception from local residents than they likely were led to believe they’d receive by the caravan organizers.
Indeed, many of the Mexicans who live there are none too pleased about the arrival of the migrants — who largely hail from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua — and have made sure that the migrants are aware of their great displeasure.
Hundreds of Mexican protesters from Tijuana marched on a shelter set up for the migrants Sunday, with some chanting that they intended to “kick them out,” according to reporter Emily Green in Mexico City:
Anti migrant protestors in Tijuana headed to shelter where 2,000-plus Central America. migrants are taking refuge to “kick them out.” pic.twitter.com/iYURtdFlZN
— Emily Green (@emilytgreen) November 18, 2018
Some have attempted to portray the angry Tijuana residents as being “racist” toward the Central American migrants, while others have characterized the anti-migrant protests as a sort of vigilante mob seeking justice — which would indeed be wrong — but that isn’t exactly the case.
NPR reported that the protesters had initially attempted to march on the mayor’s office to demand he take action, but finding that route blocked off by police, shifted their destination toward an old baseball stadium converted by the government into an ad hoc migrant shelter.
The Tijuana residents — many of whom chanted “Tijuana!” and “Mexico!” and sang the Mexican national anthem while flying Mexican flags — also carried numerous signs, reading “Mexico First,” “No Illegals” and “No to the Invasion,” among other choice phrases.
Police managed to block the protesters from reaching the migrant shelter — which reportedly held about 2,500 migrants — and ordered the migrants to stay inside the shelter to avoid provoking any potential conflicts in the streets.
“We want the caravan to go; they are invading us,” 62-year-old protester Patricia Reyes said. “They should have come into Mexico correctly, legally, but they came in like animals.”
Another protester, Magdalena Baltazar, said, “Tijuana is a place that welcomes anyone, but you must have papers, you must identify yourself. We work hard here. We don’t get handouts. The government shouldn’t be giving things to migrants when plenty of Mexicans are in a difficult position.”
As for the mayor of Tijuana himself — Juan Manuel Gastelum — he has loudly stood up for his own citizens amid the arrival of the migrant caravan, and was even spotted wearing a Trump-style red hat that read “Make Tijuana Great Again.”
Gastelum recently said of the caravan to local media, “I would dare say that not all of them are migrants.” He added, “Sure, there are some good people in the caravan, but many are very bad for the city.”
The biggest concern for Gastelum and his “Mexico First”-aligned constituents — aside from the many criminals embedded in the group — is that resources intended for city residents have now been diverted to care for the migrants, most of whom will have to wait for months before they can apply for asylum in the U.S., an application that will also most likely be denied.
In apparent support for Gastelum, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday, “The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico, just stated that ‘the City is ill-prepared to handle this many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months.’ Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.