The Mexican border city of Tijuana, which has seen an influx of 5,000 people as part of a Central American migrant caravan attempting to cross into the US, has declared the situation a ‘humanitarian crisis’.
Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum stated on Friday (23 November) that he was requesting the United Nations (UN) for help as there was no adequate response from the federal government of Mexico, reports The Hindu.
The Trump Administration has criticised the caravan as consisting of gang members and terrorists over the past several weeks. Most of the caravan members are now encamped in a sports complex in Tijuana, with the city’s administration struggling to deal with the crisis.
While religious organisations and private citizens of the city are playing a key role in donating food and money for the upkeep of the migrants, Gastelum has vowed not to spend the city’s public resources to deal with the situation. He has approached the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for assistance.
The city’s head of the social services department, Manuel Figueroa, criticised the federal government, stating, “Because of the absence, the apathy and the abandonment of the federal government, we are having to turn to international institutions like the U.N.”
The caravan could end up spending months encamped in the border city, as the Trump administration has given a stern warning of shutting down the border. Some of the migrants are now considering taking up jobs in Mexico, with government agencies identifying possible employment opportunities for them.