There are now 5,000 to 6,000 illegal caravan migrants in Tijuana, Mexico waiting to seek asylum into the United States.
According to estimates 500 of those migrants are criminals.
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The migrants have overwhelmed the city.
The Mayor of Tijuana declared a humanitarian crisis and asked international aid on Thursday.
USA Today reported:
The mayor of Tijuana declared an international humanitarian crisis on Thursday over the arrival of more than 5,000 mostly Central American migrants traveling in a caravan.
The migrants have streamed into the border city in the past week to seek asylum in the United States.
During a press conference Thursday, Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum asked international groups like the United Nations to step in help the city deal with the influx of migrants, amid a lagging response from the Mexican federal government, which he accused of neglecting their responsibilities to deal with migrant and immigration issues.
“They have categorically omitted and not complied with their legal obligations,” he said. “So we’re now asking them and international humanitarian aid groups to bring in and carry out humanitarian assistance.”
For years now, large numbers of migrants have flocked to Tijuana in their quest to seek asylum at border ports of entry along Southern California.
But the pace of arrivals stepped up this year with the organization of several migrant caravans, whose intended destination has been this border community. Since last week, more than 5,000 migrants who took off from Honduras in October arrived in Tijuana, raising tensions with local residents and straining government services.
The municipal government estimated it has spent nearly $27,000 daily to house and care for the nearly 4,700 migrants currently in the city. They are housed mostly in the Unidad Deportiva Benito Juarez, a sport complex converted into a makeshift shelter, but well over capacity since the start of the week.