The message for the migrant caravan was clear from marchers on Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico: We don’t want you here.
By James Fredrick
“We want the caravan to go; they are invading us,” said Patricia Reyes, a 62-year-old protester, hiding from the sun under an umbrella. “They should have come into Mexico correctly, legally, but they came in like animals.”
A few hundred Tijuanenses gathered in the city’s high-end Rio area to protest the groups migrating from Central American countries.
Demonstrators held signs reading “No illegals,” “No to the invasion” and “Mexico First.” Many wore the country’s red, white and green national soccer jersey and vigorously waved Mexican flags. The crowd often slipped into chants of “Ti-jua-na!” and “Me-xi-co!” They sang the national anthem several times.
The march is a foreboding sign for the migrants who have formed caravans to cross Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States. Many, but not all, of the migrants have come to Tijuana, which borders San Diego, to request asylum in the U.S. They come primarily from Honduras, though some are from other Central American countries. A number of the asylum-seekers say they can’t return home after receiving threats from street gangs such as MS-13 and the 18th Street gang, as well as threats from government figures in their countries.
But that process could take months, and the Trump administration is working to block them from entering with new rules to limit asylum.
While the protesters numbered only a few hundred, in a city of more than 1.6 million, vitriol against the migrants has spread across social media in Tijuana in recent days.
“They should create concentration and deportation camps with federal funds,” wrote one commenter on the Facebook page organizing the march.