SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — The first members of a caravan of migrants from Central America are now in Tijuana, Mexico. Thousands of other migrants are currently traveling north through Mexico.
President Trump recently signed a proclamation to block migrants from crossing into the U.S. for 90 days.
The group that arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend appears to include about 80 people with many reportedly being members of the LGBTQ community. The group that reached Tijuana on Sunday reportedly broke off from the larger group due to verbal harassment and poor living conditions. They say they are fleeing discrimination and threats in their home countries.
The group plans to stay in Tijuana to work on their asylum cases before joining an already long line of asylum seekers at the U.S. border.
If they are able to cross the border they will be met by a large military presence. News 8 cameras captured about half a dozen military vehicle driving around near the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Monday morning. U.S. border officials say the troops will help provide support as the large group makes its way north.
Legal aid groups estimate 2,500 people are waiting up to six weeks for their turn to speak with an asylum officer.
That’s before members of the rest the 7,000-person caravan arrive. For the last month, they have been making their way from Central America fleeing poverty, gang violence and political instability.
The military was called in to fortify the border after some members of the caravan overran Mexican authorities at the Mexican border with Guatemala.
Border patrol says its also prepared if anyone tries to illegally enter the U.S.
The Mexican government has offered the migrants the opportunity to apply for asylum there, while President Trump has signed a proclamation to block migrants from crossing into the U.S. for 90 days.