Tijuana is evicting the caravan migrants from a shelter near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Approximately 6,000 would-be refugees are being moved farther south to a federally-operated facility, the Associated Press reported Saturday. Tijuana said the move was prompted by concerns about “bad sanitary conditions.”
The decision comes after reports that certain migrants among the caravan are criminals and carrying infectious diseases. About 500 in the group already tried to storm the U.S. border, but were repulsed with tear gas. Many Tijuana residents were furious when the migrants first arrived in their city, staging a mass demonstration and telling the asylum seekers to go home. (RELATED: Angry Tijuana Residents Push Back Against Migrant Caravan: ‘This Is An Invasion’)
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum was one of the first in the city to express his disdain for the migrants, describing the group as a “horde” replete with criminals and a clear and present threat to his city, in an interview with Milenio Television.
“Tijuana is a city of immigrants, but we don’t want them in this way,” the mayor, a member of the conservative National Action Party, said. “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.”
Busses took the migrants to the new shelter that is about 10 miles from the border. Although municipal authorities in Tijuana first said that nobody would be forced to vacate the border shelter, its withdrawal of food and medical services means people will have to move. (RELATED: Tijuana Declares Humanitarian Crisis As Caravan Migrants Overwhelm City Shelter Capacity)
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has moved quickly to work with his Central Americans counterparts in preparing an action plan that will attempt to reduce the stream of migration through Mexico to the U.S, the AP reported.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also close to working out a “Remain In Mexico” agreement with the New Mexican administration that will keep the caravan migrants in Mexico while U.S. immigration officials assess their refugee claims.