05:21 GMT +316 December 2018
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    Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, try to catch a ride on a truck, in Irapuato, Mexico November 12, 2018

    Mexico's Tijuana Shelter of 6,000 Caravan Migrants Closed

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    Earlier, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum described the migrant caravan as a "humanitarian crisis," saying that due to the caravan's arrival he could be forced to raise taxes for the city's 1.7 million residents who have already suffered from recent clashes on the US border.

    A migrant shelter at the Benito Juarez sports complex in the Mexican city of Tijuana, which accommodated about 6,000 refugees eager to enter the US, has been closed due to "bad sanitary conditions," according to the city government. 

    Mud, lice infestations and respiratory infections were reportedly rampant in the Benito Juarez shelter, with the conditions worsening after nights with heavy winds and rains left migrants' wet clothes, sleeping bags and litter all around town after the overcrowded areas were flooded.

    READ MORE: Local Businesses in Mexico Border Town Say Devastated by Migrant Caravan

    Tijuana officials said that apart from ordinary respiratory infections, migrants from the caravan are suffering from dangerous diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

    The officials added that all the refugees will be relocated to a former concert venue much farther from the border, but that nobody would be forced to move to the new facility which is known as El Barretal and run by federal authorities.

    READ MORE: Mexican Authorities Detain at Least 600 Migrants From US-Bound Caravan — Reports

    Earlier this week, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said that he cannot continue to fund the shelters for migrants without federal support and that the city's 1.7 million residents will face increasing taxes in the future.

    "In those six hours that the border was closed, we lost approximately 129 million pesos. That's not fair. How do you think people from Tijuana feel towards those people who are making problems?" he said.

    His remarks came after US President Donald Trump threatened to close the country's border with Mexico due to the caravan "for a period of time until we can get it under control."

    READ MORE: Border City Mexicans: Gov't Fails to Take Any Action to Tackle Migrant Caravan

    "I mean the whole border. Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many cars at great benefit to them, not a great benefit to us, by the way," Trump, who earlier slammed the caravan as "an invasion", pointed out.

    He also confirmed that he had given US troops the green light to use "lethal force" if necessary to deal with some of the "tremendously dangerous" people in the migrant caravan, who he said have already engaged in mass violence in Mexico. "You have many criminals in that caravan, and the big caravan hasn't arrived yet," the president said.

    He added that the border was "fortified" with fencing, walls and other measures to prevent the caravan from getting through, and that the US military deployed 5,900 troops to its southern border earlier in November to beef up border patrol efforts.

    Earlier, the migrant caravan, consisting of thousands of people from Central America, ventured through Mexico towards the US border where some of the migrants clashed with US Border Patrol agents, who dispensed tear gas to dispense the stone-throwing mob.

    Related:

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    'Caravan' Full of LGBT Migrants Approaches US Border - Reports
    First Group of Central American Caravan Migrants Arrives at US Border - Reports
    WATCH Migrants From Caravan Climbing Fence on US Southern Border
    Tags:
    shelter, government, refugees, caravan, migrants, Juan Manuel Gastelum, Donald Trump, Tijuana, Mexico
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