US military and border protection agents have extended razor wire and erected barricades at the point of entry near San Diego, California, as the first groups of migrants arrived at the US-Mexico border. Instead, they have pressed on towards the USA border.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report at the beginning of November that stated there are "hundreds of convicted criminals or known gang members traveling in the migrant caravan that is traveling through Mexico to the USA southern border", The Daily Wire reported.
About 80 migrants, the majority of whom identify as LGBT, splintered off from the larger group in Mexico City after weeks of what they say was discriminatory treatment by local residents and other travelers, Honduran migrant Cesar Mejia told reporters at a news conference on Sunday. "If they attempt to enter illegally, they will have violated US criminal law and in accordance with the President's proclamation and the Interim Final Rule they would be ineligible for asylum".
On Nov. 12, several northbound vehicle lanes at San Ysidro and one lane at Otay Mesa were closed so the USA military could install razor wire and other measures to harden the entry point in preparation for the migrant caravan.
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When asked about the cost of deploying troops to the border, Mattis said he will update the press as it becomes known.
Like other members of the caravan, several said they are fleeing poverty and violence, but that they were also under extreme threat due to their sexual orientation and gender identity.
About 1,300 migrants in a second caravan arrived in Mexico City, where they had their first day of rest in weeks Tuesday.
"We are well aware of everything Trump has been saying", said Maribel.
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The Pentagon chief said the military was needed to provide vital support to short-handed border patrol agents ahead of the anticipated arrival of large groups of migrants in so-called "caravans".
"Other cities have welcomed them for two or three days, but one can foresee that a good number of them will stay in Tijuana for a long period, until they are permitted access to the process of being investigated" for asylum applications, Tijuana's Catholic Archdiocese said in a statement Friday.
Video 0:44 The caravan began its journey through Central America and Mexico in mid-October.
Small groups have split off from the main Central American caravan moving north through Mexico, and they are made up of people fleeing an array of dangers and difficulties: Guatemalans leaving behind poverty, Hondurans escaping gang violence, Nicaraguans running from a harsh political crackdown.
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"We are waiting for our representative", the unidentified migrant said.