Tijuana residents protest migrant caravan camped in city

'Out! Out!' Anti-Caravan Protests Erupt on US-Mexico Border (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

'Out! Out!' Anti-Caravan Protests Erupt on US-Mexico Border (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

The United States closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the busiest border crossing with Mexico to install new security barriers on Monday, a day after hundreds of Tijuana residents protested against the presence of thousands of Central American migrants.

Waving Mexican flags, the demonstrators climbed onto the monument to the last Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc shouting "Mexico, Mexico!" and "Tijuana, Tijuana!" as well as slogans calling for "defending" the country and the city in the face of the Central American influx.

A Department of Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters in a conference call later that US officials had heard reports some migrants were intending to run through border crossings into California. We're not going to permit them to stay here and enter Mexico and Tijuana as they please.

U.S. President Donald Trump has categorized the caravan as an "invasion" and ordered the U.S. Department of Defense to deploy active-duty troops to the border in assistance to border security forces. And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group as they wait possibly months to apply for USA asylum.

Dulce Alvarado, 28, from Lempira, Honduras, said she was stepping out of a corner grocery near the complex carrying her 2-year-old son when she was surrounded by the demonstrators chanting "Get out!" and "We don't want you here!"

Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to US cities like New Orleans and Detroit.

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While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants' plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them.

As they wound north through Mexico, the migrants were helped along by local authorities and residents who offered food, clothing and even free rides on daily treks that averaged 30 miles a day, much of it on foot. The city opened the complex after other shelters were filled to capacity.

Mexico's Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000. "We are fleeing violence", said the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. They come from countries with a lot of poverty.

Trump used Twitter on Sunday to voice support for the mayor.

Trump earlier this month deployed nearly 6,000 troops along the long USA border with Mexico.

Numerous demonstrators echoed the same sentiments: namely, that they didn't mind migrants coming to Mexico, but they wanted them to come legally, behave properly, and - above all - to prevent gang members and criminals from being among them. "Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the United States of America, often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away".

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