Thousands of migrants have signed up to go home, dozens since Su - The CW San Diego - News 8

Thousands of migrants have signed up to go home, dozens since Sunday's border clash

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Giving up and going home. More than a thousand Central American migrants are doing just that; some reportedly signed up to leave earlier this month, while some have decided to leave following Sunday's border clash. 

Frustrated and saying there is no chance of a better life in the United States, they boarded vans that will take them back where they came from. 

News 8 has also received word that Mexican federal police will be flying about 100 migrants out of Tijuana to their home countries in Central America. Authorities are also reporting conditions in the shelters are no sanitary. 

There seems to be a feeling of desperation even hopelessness in Tijuana among many migrants who made the long journey from Central America to seek asylum in the US. But as the president has repeatedly said, they have to do it the legal way. 

That is proving to be harder than many migrants thought. Vans were seen leaving from Tijuana to El Salvador yesterday. CBS News reports that over the past month that nearly 2,000 migrants have voluntarily signed up to be taken home.

Currently, the sports facility in Tijuana that can house 3500 is overrun by as many as 5,800 migrants according to some reports, which is expected to be home for them for awhile. 

Tijuana police are also surrounding the shelter to keep a close eye on the migrants because there’s a constant concern by law enforcement on both sides of the border that they could rush the fence again.

The sleeping situation is reportedly uncomfortable and unsanitary, with one woman saying the bathrooms are overflowing and there are open sewage lines. 

The City of Tijuana has asked local businesses to become shelters but none have done so. 

"We are not prepared to take in more people," said Tijuana Secretary of Social Development Mario Ozuna. "There isn't a city in the world who could be prepared." 

3,000 people are already on the list for asylum before this caravan can even be addressed and immigration officials can only get through 100 people a day. So those who are willing to wait may be waiting not months but years.

In the meantime, the military and border agents are still working on strengthening the border fence. In fact, 300 troops from Texas and Arizona are now being moved to California to help with the border. They include military police and engineering/logistic experts. 

The weekend port closures and chaos turned the focus of the nation to the San Diego-Tijuana border. Representative Susan Davis blames President Trump for failing to allow migrants to legally apply for asylum in a timely fashion.

She said in part...

“By ignoring the law and long-standing policies for processing asylum claims, this president is putting not only migrant families at risk but border patrol and service members, as well. The vast majority of migrants are seeking a better life – not confrontations with law enforcement.”

The use of tear gas during Sunday's events have also sparked debate. 

President Trump spoke about it during a round table discussion in Mississippi on Monday night. 

"First of all, the tear gas is very safe," said Trump. "The ones that were suffering were the ones putting it out there." 

New video from U.S. Customs and Border Protections shows agents in riot gear during the San Ysidro Port of Entry shutdown. When it comes to the use of tear gas, customs agents say they tried their best to target the specific instigators who were throwing rocks and bottle at them - not women and children. 

On Tuesday, CNN reported that DHS Spokesman Tyler Houlton said CBP arrested 42 people for illegally crossing the border on Sunday. The figure was previously reported to be 69 arrests - but Houlton explained the number was incorrect and was “combined with some arrests in Mexico.”

As of Tuesday, News 8 crews spotted man border agents on ATVs and in SUVs along the border. They have vowed to keep up heightened security and punish any illegal crossers. 

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan conducted a short phone call with several members of the news media. He said in part: 

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and officers in San Diego effectively managed an extremely dangerous situation involving over 1,000 individuals who sought to enter the U.S. unlawfully in large groups. They did so safely and without any reported serious injuries on either side of the border.

Yesterday’s incident involved large groups of migrants ignoring and overwhelming Mexican law enforcement, then attempting to enter the United States through vehicle lanes at San Ysidro and El Chaparral, and then through breaches in the international border fence between ports of entry. Elements of the group also engaged in dozens of assaults on agents and officers. Four agents were hit with rocks, but were wearing protective gear and did not suffer serious injuries.

Members of the migrant caravan will return to Central America - giving up and returning home. Others, however, will wait it out in Tijuana. News 8's Chris Gros reports from San Ysidro. 

Pictures Courtesy of Mexican Federal Police

 

 

 

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