Members of a migrant caravan that marched from Central America through Mexico are reportedly talking about crossing the U.S. border in what amounts to a "human stampede" in order to draw reaction from the Trump administration
“They have that intention,” Sergio Tamai, a founder of Angels without Borders, a group that is aiding the migrants, told Telemundo 20 in San Diego, Fox News reported. “I believe that thousands could make that jump.”
Some 6,000 migrants have gathered in Tijuana, Mexico, across from San Diego, Calif., in the last couple of weeks. The Trump administration says as many as 10,000 could arrive in the next weeks or months. Most are sleeping in the streets or camped out in makeshift tents.
“Most of us, yes, we want to be on the other side,” Jorge Molina, a Honduran migrant, told Telemundo. “Some want to jump over the wall, others to go another way, and others want to wait and see what kind of response they get.”
Tijuana councilman Manuel Monárrez said a mass border would "further strain economic relations with the U.S."
"A human stampede would be an immediate provocation to the U.S.,” Monárrez and justify Donald Trump to impact the binational dynamics of the economy.”
Meanwhile, a group of about 150 migrants split from the main caravan and moved within 500 feet of the U.S. border, according to one report on Thursday.
"A small faction of the larger group of 6,219 Central American migrants in Tijuana slowly and peacefully pushed within 500 feet of the U.S. border Thursday while armed Mexican federal police held a barrier near the pedestrian crossing. Asking for more humane conditions in the overflowing Benito Juarez shelter and trying to present themselves to United States immigration authorities for asylum, the group carried white flags as they marched from the migrant camp to the foot of the U.S. pedestrian bridge, a distance of about five city blocks," the San Diego Tribune reported.
President Trump on Thursday was firm in his opposition to the caravan.
"We’re going to have a strong border. Our Southern border is going to be very strong. You heard me speaking to some of the folks just now, and they’re so proud of the jobs they’re doing. You’ve got to have borders. Without borders you don’t have a country. The Democrats want open borders and they want these people coming in. Many of these people are criminals, OK? We know who they are," Trump told reporters.
He also said the U.S. actually closed the border already.
"Two days ago, we closed the border. We actually just closed it, said nobody’s coming in because it was just out of control. You take a look at Tijuana, Mexico and you see what’s happening there? It’s a bad situation," he said. "You ask the people of Tijuana, Mexico, they opened up with wide arms, just come in, come in, let me help you, let us take care of you. And within two days, they’re going crazy to get them out. They want them out because bad things are happening in Tijuana, and again, it’s not happening in this country because we closed it up."
Trump said the refugees can go to the back of the line and apply for entry into the United States.
"People have been waiting in line for years to become citizens. Great people, great for our country. And then these people come in and they think they’re just going to walk in. It’s a very unfair thing to people who have been waiting in line in some cases for many years because they’ve done it right.
"But they don’t think they’re doing it right, because they say, how can we be doing it right when we’re waiting in line for this very complicated legal process, and they have lawyers and everything else, and then you have people rushing through the border and get to stay. It’s not happening with me. We’ve very tough on the border," he said.
Trump also took to Twitter on Friday, where he said: "Republicans and Democrats MUST come together, finally, with a major Border Security package, which will include funding for the Wall. After 40 years of talk, it is finally time for action. Fix the Border, for once and for all, NOW!"