San Diego calm despite thousands of impatient migrants in Tijuana

Federal Police install barricades in Tijuana, in the state of Baja California, Mexico, Nov. 17, 2018. EPA-EFE/JOEBETH TERRIQUEZ

Federal Police install barricades in Tijuana, in the state of Baja California, Mexico, Nov. 17, 2018. EPA-EFE/JOEBETH TERRIQUEZ


The city of San Diego in California on Saturday remained calm despite thousands of United States-bound migrants camping on the other side of the border in the Mexican city of Tijuana for days.

According to latest estimates, nearly 4,000 people are waiting in shelters across the border, including some 1,500, who had arrived in the migrant caravan from Honduras on Oct. 13.

The process of granting asylum, however, might take long since the US administration, led by President Donald Trump, had moved to limit it stating that asylum can only be requested at San Ysidro in San Diego.

Although the regulation will be in force for 90 days initially, US Customs and Border Protection estimates that this would mean around a four-month-long wait for these migrants before the procedure for their asylum request could begin.

However, despite mounting tension in Tijuana, where migrants have been arriving in large numbers and are forced to camp outside the city, San Diego has remained calm.

“There have been no violence or protests. It is only that a large amount of money has been spent on deployment of soldiers without arms here,” a New Yorker, Ricardo Callen told EFE, referring to the deployment of thousands of soldiers at the border with Mexico.

A clear example of the calm is the Friendship Park, which serves as a regular meeting place for the recently arrived immigrants to the country with their relatives and friends from across the border.

The park was closed on Saturday morning after US authorities decided to shut it down over the weekend after some migrants tried to enter the country through Imperial Beach, located at the western end of the park.

Earlier on Friday, a CBP official was almost hit by a stone thrown at him across the border during the inspection of the fence’s reinforcement work.

“People are angry because there are some aggressive migrants, we offer them money, food, shelter, water and they do not value it, which is bad. We Mexicans who come to the US cannot do that, because they are opening the doors to us,” Ruby, a Mexican woman working on the US side of the border told EFE.

Alleged aggression by some members of these caravans that have been traveling toward north through Mexico for weeks had led Trump to order deployment of troops along the southern border of the country.

According to Pentagon, some 5,900 soldiers are deployed across the states of California, Arizona and Texas to assist border agents with logistics and security issues.