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November 20, 2018

The Caravan Meets Resistance in Tijuana

“This is an invasion,” said one resident. “We demand respect. We demand our laws be followed.”

The first wave of the Central American caravasion reached the Mexican border city of Tijuana over the weekend, and the locals aren’t happy with the new arrivals. Thousands of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador swamped the city, many staying at makeshift shelters at the Benito Juarez sports complex. Others are camping in the streets, squatting wherever they can find space, often on private property.

Tijuana is a major rendezvous point for people seeking to enter the United States, and the city has suitable infrastructure to handle new arrivals. The scale of the caravan, however, caught the city by surprise and is taxing its public resources.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum called the wave of illegal immigrants a “tsunami.” He explained, “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.”

Moreover, Gastelum argued, “Human rights should be reserved for righteous humans.” In other words, showing up doesn’t mean you have the rights of citizens.

The citizens of Tijuana agree with their mayor. Residents held a major protest over the weekend, calling on the caravan to disperse and go home. “This is an invasion,” said one resident. “We demand respect. We demand our laws be followed.”

Gastelum has called upon the Mexican government to do something to divert or turn back migrants headed toward his city. Mexican immigration officials estimate up to 10,000 Central American migrants on the move in Mexico right now. Furthermore, wait times to get into the U.S. could stretch out for six months. Migrants complain that they don’t have the money or food to wait that long. Mexicans say they don’t have the facilities to house them for that long, either.

President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. government would revoke asylum for any immigrants caught crossing into the U.S. illegally (though a Barack Obama-appointed judge just struck that down). This, along with the end of the disastrous catch-and-release policy of the Obama administration and increased troop presence on the border, sends the signal that the U.S. government intends to secure its border.

For the moment, the migrants in Tijuana have decided to sit tight and let the asylum process play out. But that can’t last for long. Resources are already in short supply, and more migrants are expected in Tijuana and elsewhere. Gastelum has cited instances of violence and law-breaking already among migrants. American Homeland Security officials estimate more than 500 hardcore criminals are traveling among the migrants. They have noted that women and children march at the front of the caravans for the television cameras.

Leftists will continue managing this story in the media as best they can, from creating a myth around the need for asylum to falsely assuming that foreigners have a right to be in the United States. It will become more difficult, though, when citizens of both the U.S. and Mexico resist being made pawns in this conspiracy to delegitimize border security and national sovereignty.

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