“GO HOME” we do not want you here: Tijuana, the city that does not want the migrant caravan


With flags of Mexico and banners that read messages against immigrants from the Central American caravan , hundreds of Tijuana residents took to the streets of their city to reject what some call an “invasion” on the part of the migrants

Thousands of Central American migrants who have crossed Central America since October, began to arrive at the border city of Tijuana, in Baja California, in order to cross into the United States.

When the migrants began to arrive, some Tijuana residents shouted ”  we do not want you here, ” local protesters continued to demand more immigration controls for Central American immigrants who arrived in their city.

“They need to close the border where they are going to enter. That they reinforce so that more do not arrive, “he told CNN Jose Hernandez, a Tijuana citizen who demonstrated against the caravan.

The migrants who arrived in Tijuana, most of them Hondurans and some Central Americans, say they are fleeing from violence, from insecurity in their countries and from unemployment. Many of them have told CNN that during this journey they have endured hunger and have been cold to get to this point.

The security forces were present in front of the shelter where the Central Americans were to safeguard the safety of the new arrivals.

Some of the concerns of the people of Tijuana are the increase in insecurity and crime rates due to the arrival of immigrants, public health concerns and, as some say, gang members of MS-13 are likely to come.

“I do oppose, for the crime that is going to be unleashed here in Tijuana,” said Damarys Mondragón, another resident of Tijuana, to Jackelin Hurtado of CNN. “We do not know if savage gangs come, we do not know if they bring diseases, HIV.”

Locals deny being “racist” or “nationalist”: “We simply want our country to respect itself, that our soil be respected. They can not get here and demand things that are not, “adds Mondragón.

Tijuana, a city of migrants

The mayor of Tijuana Juan Manuel Gastelúm, said to Carmen Aristegui, that although this is a city of migrants, what bothers is how things have happened with the arrival of migrants

“Suddenly all the people arrive. We have nothing against migrants, but we agree that human rights are also accompanied by human rights. What has happened with the arrival of many people who make up this caravan of migrants (not all of them) has not been comfortable at all. ” said Gastélum.

As the local mayor points out, this is a city of migrants. According to official figures from the 2010 census, more than 50% of the population of Tijuana (more than 744,000 people) was not born in this entity, but in others in Mexico. 67,695 citizens who lived in Tijuana in 2010 were born in the United States, and almost 5,000 were born in another country.

According to a report by the International Organization for Migration and the Migrants Initiative in countries in crisis , “Tijuana is one of the most active borders in the world in terms of cross-border crossings.”

The border crossing from Tijuana to San Diego, California, is the busiest in the country, a spokesman for the US Customs and Border Protection communications bureau told CNN en Español.

According to him, at a national level, Customs and Border Protection processes more than 1.2 million travelers entering the United States every day through land, air and sea ports of entry, he told CNN en Español.

“At the port of entry of San Ysidro – the border between Tijuana and San Diego – we process 100,000 to 120,000 people crossing by vehicle or on foot,” Jaime Ruiz, of the CBP communications office, told CNN en Español. “Of this amount less than 1% is denied entry.”

San Isidro, on the border of Tijuana, is the busiest port in the country, according to him.

In this city, the migrant population is composed of a large number of migratory flows and different socio-demographic profiles, according to the WHO report.

“In 2016, Tijuana recovered the first place as a point of deportation for Mexican citizens,” says this report, which adds that these deportees constitute a “floating population that is difficult to quantify and locate.”

By 2016 local authorities and local organizations in Tijuana reported the presence of hundreds of asylum seekers from countries in Africa , Europe and America, many of them had entered Mexico through the southern border of the country and reached the border with EE .US. to request asylum, says a report of the National Human Rights Commission of May 2018.

“The number of migrants from Africa and the Caribbean increased rapidly and waiting times at the border continued,” says the report. “Thus, little by little, thousands of migrants found themselves stranded in Tijuana waiting to be received by the US immigration authorities.”

And according to April 2017 data from the National Migration Institute of Mexico, cited by the CNDH report, in Baja California there were about 3,400 foreigners from Haiti: 75% in Tijuana and 25% in Mexicali.

On foreign migrants in Tijuana, a survey on the socioeconomic situation of migrants and foreigners in Baja California 2016 , made to 384 people living in Tijuana, says that 99.2% of the non-Mexican migrants living in that city came from Haiti, and 0.80%, of Guatemala.

In addition, according to a Survey on Migration in the Northern Border of Mexico ( EMIF) of 2014 , Tijuana was one of the migratory points of Mexico where displacements to the United States originated the most.

“The mobility of this flow originates mainly in four cities on the northern border of Mexico. In 2014, 29.6 percent of the trips came from Tijuana, 18.9 from Ciudad Juárez, 17.9 from Reynosa and 12.2 from Nogales; other cities such as Matamoros or Nuevo Laredo do not exceed ten percentage points, “says this report.


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