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    A migrant carrying the flags of Mexico and Honduras gives a thumbs-up to a moto rickshaw driver who stopped to take their picture, as a thousands-strong caravan of Central Americans hoping to reach the U.S. border moves onward from Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Thousands of migrants resumed their slow trek through southern Mexico on Thursday, after attempts to obtain bus transport to Mexico City failed

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

    © AP Photo / Rebecca Blackwell
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    EL PASO (Sputnik) - Many residents in the Mexican border city of Tijuana are concerned by the newly-arrived caravan of migrants from Central America as violent clashes escalate between police and protesters and the US military boosts its presence on the other side of the border.

    On Friday, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said he would not have the city residents bear the burden of sustaining asylum seekers arriving from Central America because the city was already suffering from a humanitarian crisis.

    Last week, the Mexican Interior Ministry said that around 5,600 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador had reached the towns of Tijuana and Mexicali both located just across the border with the United States.

    Disruptive Caravan 

    The initial caravan of illegal migrants set out from Honduras in the direction of Mexico and the United States on October 13, hoping to get asylum in these countries. According to UN estimates, the caravan included more than 7,000 migrants. Another caravan of around 3,000 asylum seekers followed suit later in October.

    Antonio Cimota, 36, is an organizer of Mexicanos Unidos, a group opposing the migrant caravan. He helped organize a large protest in Tijuana on Sunday against the arrival of the convoy from Central America.

    Cimota told Sputnik that the caravan had disrupted cross-border travel and littered the community.

    "The border has been closed for short periods of time causing lots of heavy traffic and a division within our community because as much as we have the opposition to this caravan we also have supporters in the community," Cimota said. "We had them [caravan members] camping out in Playas de Tijuana [a tourist area] and [they] left us trash. A foul smell of urine, and donated goods were left behind."

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    He also pointed out that many of his friends who cross the border daily have been discouraged to do so because of the hours-long waiting lines.

    It is frowned upon how the migrants in the caravan forced their way into Mexico on the border with Guatemala, Cimota added.

    Ome more Mexico's national, Oscar Dioses, 27, of Tijuana, told Sputnik that he accepts US President Donald Trump’s efforts to protect US citizens especially considering the failure of the Mexican government to address the crisis.

    "Our government in Mexico… does not take any action to solve this migration [issue] and take a census of people who arrived in the country and are receiving help from our taxes," Dioses said.

    Humanitarian Solution 

    Over the weekend, hundreds of residents in Tijuana clashed with police and pro-migrant demonstrators, local media reported.

    Meanwhile, Trump has ordered the deployment of 5,900 military troops at the southern border to deter migrants from crossing it.

    The White House on Tuesday authorized the troops to use lethal force against illegal migrants if needed.

    READ MORE: 'Great Danger': Trump Slams Judicial Activists Defending Migrant Caravan

    Cimota said he does not support Trump but believes that the US president has a right to protect the United States and its citizens.

    However, Cimota emphasized that force should not be used against innocent people.

    "What we should be doing is trying to find a way to resolve the situation in a humanitarian way, this is, in my opinion, a politically-influenced movement that is affecting the people of Mexico," Cimota said.

    Although some have speculated that Mexicans have shown hostility toward the migrants due to bigotry, Dioses rejected the notion.

    "My opposition to the migrant caravan is nothing in relation to racism or xenophobia," Dioses said. "It’s just expressing my dissatisfaction with the Mexican government."

    Local media reported on Thursday that at least 600 members of the caravan of migrants from Central America have been detained by the Mexican authorities in the country’s southern state of Chiapas.

    On Tuesday, a US district judge in San Francisco blocked a proclamation signed by Trump that bars migrants from applying for asylum if they enter the United States without authorization. The presidential order was challenged by several advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Mexico is working to create a program aimed at providing job opportunities to the people from the migrant caravans who have arrived in the country, Mexican Ambassador to the United States Geronimo Gutierrez told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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