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Protesters slam migrants' arrival in Mexican border city

21 November 2018

US border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana's main crossing to San Diego, and there was already a waiting list of 3,000 when the new migrants arrived, so most will have to wait months to even be considered for asylum.

The desperate and seemingly unstoppable journey of about three thousand migrants from Central America heading towards the United States has finally reached Tijuana, the final stop before the US border.

The migrant caravan that is amassing at the San Diego border contains over 500 criminals, the Department of Homeland Security warned Monday.

On Tuesday, the White House is expected to announce new authorities that would allow active-duty troops to protect CBP personnel from a threat, according to a US official.

Pedestrians stand near barbed wire at a legal Mexico-U.S. border crossing as they prepare to leave Tijuana, Mexico, Monday.

San Ysidro is the busiest land border point of entry into the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

"The problem is that there has been bad information circulating on social media, with videos of two or three migrants acting badly, climbing the wall or grabbing food in stores", said Coronel, adding that most are poor people simply trying to find work.

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In protests on Sunday, about 400 Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted "Out!"

The troops President Donald Trump sent to the border ahead of the elections earlier this month will reportedly soon be leaving, in spite of continued flows of asylum-seekers and other migrants coming to the United States.

For most people in this city of 1.6 million, the arrival of thousands of Central Americans is not noticeable. On Nov. 14, Mattis told a soldier who asked that question that the mission so far was to install the barriers, and "we'll let you know" what the ultimate plan is.

Still, the reduction in troop levels now ― after Trump largely stopped tweeting or talking about the caravans post-midterm elections, but while thousands of migrants are still en route to the USA ― is likely to bolster critics who said the deployment was more about pre-election fear-mongering than responding to a need.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum has also pushed back against the wave of migrants, who he has called "bums", suggesting a referendum on whether or not to allow them to stay might be appropriate. Laura Seal, a spokesperson, said: "The assistance we are providing to CBP at the southwest border has been authorised through December 15".

"Likewise, the USA is ill-prepared for this invasion and will not stand for it, they are causing crime and big problems in Mexico, Go home".

Protesters slam migrants' arrival in Mexican border city