Tue | Jul 23, 2019

Caravan migrants weigh options after court blocks Trump ban

Published:Wednesday | November 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP):

Migrants camped in Tijuana after traveling in a caravan to reach the U.S were weighing their options yesterday after a U.S. court blocked President Donald Trump's asylum ban for illegal border crossers.

Many said they have no intention of breaking the law, but were feeling pressure after anti-migrant protests in this Mexican border city and claims by Trump and the Tijuana mayor that the caravan harbours gang members and criminals, something they strongly deny.

Keven Paul Mejia, a 27-year-old former security guard from the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, said there were some delinquents traveling with the group of several thousand who smoke marijuana and get drunk.

But, he said, most are like him, just hoping to land a job in the U.S. "There are more of us who are good, than bad," Mejia said.

Herson Cordonez, a 29-year-old Honduran, said the actions of a few migrants were tainting the image of the 4,000 to 6,000 in the caravan, not all of whom have yet reached Tijuana. "We are not criminals, we are migrant workers,"Cordonez said, adding that he was considering trying to get into Canada if the U.S. doesn't want him.

 

Border examinations

 

On Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited a San Diego pacific coast beach examining up close the newly installed razor wire wrapped around a towering border wall that cuts across the sand. On the Tijuana side, dozens of onlookers gathered with cellphones to take pictures of her arrival through the fence.

"This is a border wall with row upon row of concertina wire," Nielsen said. "Make no mistake, we are very serious. You will not get into our country illegally."

She said there were as many as 500 criminals and gang members in the groups heading northward, though she refused to answer questions about how they were identified or what crimes they had committed. She added that caravan migrants had assaulted "border police in multiple countries," even using "incendiary devices," though she provided no evidence.