EAGLE PASS, TEXAS — The Trump administration has flooded the Texas border town that sits just over the river from the Mexican city where 1,800 caravan migrants arrived earlier this week with hundreds of law enforcement personnel.
More than 100 U.S. police vehicles lined a one-mile stretch of the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, Saturday afternoon. Sixty sat together in one section of the river on a local golf course.
The massive “show of force” — as Border Patrol is calling it — is meant to deter Central Americans from illegally entering the country, as large groups attempted in San Diego, Calif., last November and again on New Year’s Eve.
New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants 5,000 caseworkers sent to the U.S.-Mexico border instead of American troops.
On Monday, the 29-year-old socialist argued that sending troops to the border created a “moral crisis” and that the only solution was to send caseworkers to speak with and assist illegal aliens.
“What if instead of sending 5k troops to the border, we had sent 5k caseworkers to review + process visa applications? In addition to averting moral crisis, it also would’ve saved enormous amt of resources. But we don’t talk about the financial recklessness of GOP admins, do we?” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Thousands of migrants are still arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to be allowed into the country as asylum seekers. But many are claiming Mexican officials are asking for money to allow them to proceed across bridges that would take them to a U.S. border checkpoint.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Mexican officials are also overseeing a waiting list of migrants seeking entry into the U.S.
“The asylum seekers and immigrant-rights advocates say that has put them at risk of extortion, discrimination, and deportation, with many telling of Mexican officials demanding money to let them pass and of watching others, further down the list, cross ahead of them,” the Times reported.
With many migrants stranded in Tijuana, local authorities are trying to offer them jobs in the Mexican border town.
But most migrants are determined to reach the US. Tobias Käufer reports from Tijuana.
Jose Rodriguez from Siguatepeque in Honduras has been carrying his white flag for more than 3,000 kilometers now. “I have two kids in Honduras. I want them to have a better life,” the 29-year-old tells DW. The white flag has become the symbol of the migrant caravan, which started from the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on October 12 with the aim of reaching the US. “The flag symbolizes that we mean no harm, and that we have good intentions,” Rodriguez explains.
In a truly shocking and unprecedented turn of events, the White House authorized the use of “lethal force” at the Mexican border, per a cabinet order signed on Wednesday by Chief of Staff John Kelly, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
This is terrifying news for those who imagine hundreds of immigrants, including women and children, being gunned down by American troops. However, that’s not going to happen — despite the authorization from the White House.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated that the military police at the border don’t even have weapons. They will not be armed, and they will not have the power to carry out arrests.
“There is no armed element going on,” Mattis told reporters on Wednesday, according to the BBC.
Around 3,000 immigrants, mainly from Honduras and Guatemala, are in Tijuana right now. Tijuana is a border city just outside the state of California.
Video out of Mexico shows a Mexican business woman praising Donald Trump saying she loves “that he fights for his people” and “that’s what we as Mexicans should do here.”
“I am Mexican. I support Trump,” the woman tells a group of journalists. “I love that he is a Nationalist. I love that he fights for his country.”
“I love that he fights for his people and that’s what we as Mexicans should do here.”
The woman said she has Mexican-US dual citizenship but chooses to live in Mexico because she wants to fight to improve her country.
Multiple videos of protests in Tijuana Mexico show demonstrators agreeing with President Trump that the migrant caravan represents an “invasion,” with protesters demanding the migrants go home.
Almost 3,000 Central American migrants have congregated in the Mexican border city, prompting hundreds of Mexican citizens to hit the streets.
Waving Mexican flags and chanting “Out! Out!” protesters are calling the caravan an “invasion” while asserting “We don’t want them in Tijuana.”
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said Thursday that caravan migrants arriving by the hundreds are no longer welcome, an increasingly common sentiment among residents of the Mexican border city.
Gastelum described the caravan of Central American migrants as a “horde” that has been infiltrated by criminals who now threaten the community, in an interview with Milenio Television.
“Tijuana is a city of immigrants, but we don’t want them in this way,” the mayor, a member of the conservative National Action Party, said. “It was different with the Haitians, they carried papers, they were in order. It wasn’t a horde, pardon the expression.”
Gastelum called on the Mexican government to deport the caravan migrants as soon as possible.
“You’re going to tell me we have to respect human rights,” he said. “But human rights are for law-abiding humans.”
Tommy Robinson has been denied a visa to the US where he planned to embark on a speaking tour.
The English Defence League co-founder was due to meet Republican politicians in Washington this week at the invitation of the Middle East Forum.
But Daniel Pipes, president of the conservative Philadelphia-based organisation, said Robinson had not been granted a visa in time for the meeting, Reuters reported.
He said Robinson recently applied for a visa at the US Embassy in London but realised it “will take a while” for him to be allowed into the country.
But Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, categorically denied his visa application had been rejected.