Central Americans Exodus members continue to wait in limbo at Mexico's border city of Tijuana hoping to enter the United States despite President Donald Trump’s repeated efforts to halt the approximately 8-10,000 caravan asylum seekers from crossing into U.S. territory.
"We are desperate, hoping for a positive response. We hope that authorities can reach an agreement. It's not our intention to put the Mexican people out. Our hope is to get news for Christmas, good news for my family in Honduras," one young male Exodus member told Reuters while camped out along with hundreds of others in a Tijuana neighborhood close to the U.S. San Ysidro port of entry.
Owing to a Trump tweets, reports swirled on Saturday that the incoming Mexican government under Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) would go along with his administration’s request to allow the thousands of asylum seekers to stay in Mexico until their claims were individually approved in U.S. courts. The claim was immediately denied by Olga Sanchez Cordero, AMLO’s future interior minister who will take up her role when Lopez Obrador is inaugurated on Dec. 1.
Human rights activists have long argued that Mexico, particularly along its high-homicide northern border, is not a safe haven for migrants or asylum seekers fleeing overwhelming violence and poverty in Central America. Asylum claimants are allowed to remain in the U.S. during their request process.
Others among the thousands of Exodus members in Tijuana who began their journey as far back as Oct. 12 out of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala said they aren’t interested in staying in the U.S., but just want to travel through to get to Canada.
"I don't want to work here (Mexico). I want to go to Canada. In Canada they're letting in 6,000 people, I want to go. They (Canadian authorities) will give permission for us to pass, I want to go. We want Trump to allow us to pass, we call on Trump to open the crossing,"
Last week Mexican priest and director of the Peaceful Human Mobility of the Mexican Archbishop, Alejandro Solalinde, was trying to arrange airlifts to Canada to settle in the county.
On Sunday morning, Trump again tried to blame Mexico, Central America and U.S. Democratic Party members for the now five Exoduses that have formed over the past month and a half in a tweet.
“Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!” announced the president. The rampant corruption, violence, and poverty that Central Americans are leaving have their impetus in U.S. economic and interventionist policies in the region.
Many of the Exodus members, who have been trekking and hitchhiking through Mexico for the past month, camped out in makeshift shelters unsure of who will take them in are now suffering from extreme fatigue and even depression.
The U.S. head of state was recently blocked by a judge from trying to null asylum applications from those who don’t enter the United States at a port of entry, official crossings now saturated with newly installed barbed wires, barricades, and military soldiers.