The first wave of migrant from the caravan has arrived by the hundreds in Tijuana, Mexico and more people are expected to follow in the coming days.
More than 1,500 Asylum seekers already made their way to a shelter near the US-Mexico border to line up for food and seek temporary shelter while waiting for the arrival of caravan leaders who will guide them on immigration options and procedures.
Only 100 asylum claims can be processed daily at San Ysidro Port of Entry south of San Diego. This means, asylum seekers would have to wait in Mexico for a long period of time.
Tijuana has opened its doors to migrants offering refuge, asylum and work visas. The government said that 2,697 temporary visas had been issued to individuals and families while they go through the 45-day application process for more permanent status.
Delia Avila, director of Tijuana’s family services department, told the press “Tijuana is a land of migrants. Tijuana is a land that has known what it is to embrace thousands of co-nationals and also people from other countries.”
Many migrants from Central America are intent on seeking asylum in the U.S legally however there are those who are desperate to flee their countries that they would attempt to cross the border without going through the process.
Henry Salinas, 30, of Honduras, intends to wait for the thousands of migrants to arrive and hopes that the deluge of people crossing the border will overwhelm the Border Patrol agents.
“It’s going to be all against one, one against all. All of Central America against one, and one against Central America. … All against Trump, and Trump against all,” he said.
On Tuesday, several migrants scaled the steel fence and chanted “Yes, we could!” to celebrate their arrival.
Meanwhile, across the border, close to 6,000 troops deployed by President Donald Trump have been busy erecting concrete barriers and razor-wire fences to prevent what the he has described as an “invasion.”
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis views the arrival of the migrants as a good test for the military’s state of readiness in the event of a “war”.