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Migrant caravan continues difficult journey to U.S.

by Breonnah Colón - Editor-In-Chief
Tue, Nov 27th 2018 10:00 pm
Young tears The United States sent thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. The troops proceeded to throw tear gas at families seeking asylum at the Mexican side of the border wall (above).
Young tears The United States sent thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. The troops proceeded to throw tear gas at families seeking asylum at the Mexican side of the border wall (above).

As the caravan approaching the United States becomes closer to the border, tensions as well as concerns regarding how the situation will be handled continue to rise. Thousands of people from different Latin American countries have fled their homeland in the attempt to reach safety and live a life free from the strife they once experienced. To date there is no established number regarding how individuals are making their way on foot, according to politifact.com.

As there has been no true census, the number has been dramatically inflated, ranging from a conservative 1,200 to numbers soaring into the ten thousands. It seems as though the number of migrants increased with each day that has passed, almost as if to exaggerate the potential threat of the number of people attempting to enter the U.S.

Given our current political climate, especially in regard to immigration and the way foreign policy has been altered over the course of a couple of years, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible this is exactly the case.

Regardless of the looming cloud of “illegal Mexicans,” some Americans are mortified might be forcing their way into the country, an interesting course of events has unfolded. First and foremost it must be noted and understood while migrants have made it to a city bordering the two countries no migrants making up the caravan have passed into the U.S.

The thousands of people attempting to move away from the violence and drug trafficking plaguing their communities have only traveled across Latin American countries and are currently residing in Mexico, or are at least attempting to.

Many Mexicans have been receptive to migrants, offering shelter food and other care to those in need.

However, as the caravan made its way into the city of Tijuana, this reception has become much more limited and in some instances non-existent altogether.

The Washington Post explains residents are wary of the migrants and fear there may be criminals hiding among the masses who may decide to stay in the area and increase the violence already present in the community. This fear, much like the fear many Americans residing in the U.S. experience, has led to a strong and vocal opposition, which has even been carried out by the city’s Mayor, Juan Manuel Gastelum, who has referenced the migrants as “bums” himself, according to The Washington Post. Residents also took up chants showing disapproval saying “‘No to the invasion!’ and ‘They are terrorists!’”

People of color may be shocked to hear such sentiments, or rather lack of, however, these feelings are shared by many Americans across the country.

Yet again, an important fact must be noted and understood: Tijuana serves as a legal point of entry between the two countries where thousands of migrants pass through each day.

Too frequently people assume the border can merely be passed through without any repercussions. Time magazine explains roughly 110,000 people cross the border in approximately 40,000 vehicles daily. However, due to the caravan and the negative response by protestors attempting to force migrants away from the city and discouraging crossing the border, traffic slowed immensely this past weekend.

The situation has reached a boiling point, with the city requesting help from the United Nations for what it is calling a humanitarian crisis.

Tijuana already has a population of 1.6 million people, the additional number of migrants entering and attempting to stay in the area has put a definite pressure on its resources and services, something residents believe could have been avoided if the caravan was addressed earlier on.

A large number of people forcing themselves on an area is certainly a difficult situation to face and forces people to deal with situations they wouldn’t have otherwise.

However, we must move beyond merely condmening migration, legal or otherwise, and focus on the true issue here: these people are in need of help and they never received sufficient aid.

This is the reason why thousands of people are fleeing their own homes and this is the reason why tensions and fears are continuing to rise. Until we address the root of the problem, we’ll never be able to put an end to the issue.