15 November, 2018
Even as US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled to the border to visit the thousands of troops President Donald Trump has deployed there, a new group of around 350 migrants arrived in the northern city of Tijuana, across from San Diego, California - bringing the total number of caravan members there to almost 800.
The U.S. Border Patrol sent a news release stating it believes some of the people at the fence are from the caravan, which has been traveling through Mexico from Honduras. "Those include a number of violent criminals - examples include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, sexual assault on a child, and assault on a female".
In Tijuana, a contingent of about 80 caravan participants - members of the LGBT, (lesbian gay, bisexual, and transgender) community - settled in for their second day in Tijuana at a house rented out for them by supporters in a well-to-do neighborhood near the US border. "If they attempt to enter illegally, they will have violated US criminal law and in accordance with the President's proclamation and the Interim Final Rule they would be ineligible for asylum".
Three northbound lanes will be closed at San Ysidro and another lane at Otay Mesa will also be closed to install "port hardening infrastructure equipment", the agency said in a statement.
The plan is for many to turn themselves in at the San Ysidro Port of Entry and ask the USA government for asylum.
To deal with the perceived threat the United States has deployed 5,200 troops to help more than 2,000 National Guardsmen thwart what Donald Trump has described as an impending migrant "invasion".
Watch some of the first migrants arrive in Tijuana above, via Global News.
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But he said that after their visit to the border, most were taken to shelters in groups of 30 or 40.
The lanes are not expected to reopen until sometime after the caravan arrives.
"I can not believe we actually made it here to the border", said Andy Albaringa, 23, a trans woman from El Salvador.
The military deployment became a politically charged issue in the lead-up to the midterm elections with Democrats questioning whether it was necessary and if Trump was using the military for political gain.
About 1,300 migrants in a second caravan were resting at a stadium in Mexico City, where the first group stayed several days last week.
The Central Americans in the caravan are the latest migrants to arrive in Tijuana with the hope of crossing into the United States.
"It's ridiculous to have marines, to have barbed wire, to have tanks, Humvees, whatever we're throwing on the border guns, to greet people fleeing violence?" Such a change would not affect the caravan if the migrants requested asylum at a port of entry.