Tensions are high at the southern border of the United States where hundreds of migrants from Central America massed at a border crossing. The increased security measures at the border checkpoint slowed the progress of Mexicans attempting to cross the border to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family members in America.
The migrants were part of a larger group that is camped at a baseball field in the Mexican city of Tijuana. It is estimated that 6,000 migrants were part of a caravan that left Central America a few weeks ago. The members of the caravan are now living in the baseball field a short distance from the border crossing.
The scene of unrest is the Chapparal border crossing. The migrants explained they would wait at the crossing until political asylum was offered to them. This comes at a time when the U.S. has expressed a desire to increase security at the border.
One migrant, who is from Honduras and goes by the name of David, says that the group is desperate. He said they were outside in the rain the night before. He explained there was no room at the baseball field for more people. He also said that many people are getting sick due to unhealthy conditions.
President Donald Trump issued a strong warning early Thursday that lethal force was available to personnel tasked with protecting border crossings. He also threatened to shut down the entire southern border of the country.
The crossing in San Diego is one of the busiest in the nation. It was shut down for a moment Thursday afternoon while tactical exercises were conducted by border officials.
Tens of thousands of Mexican citizens who work or study in America cross the border on a daily basis. Many of these daily commuters expressed dismay at the complications involved with traveling for Thanksgiving celebrations.
Tensions were highest on Thursday at a pedestrian crossing in San Diego. This was the location where the Central Americans congregated. Police and military personnel stood guard on the Mexican side of the border. A helicopter circled overhead.
Edgar Corzo is a human rights advocate in Mexico. He used a megaphone to inform the crowd of services they could request in Mexico.
Many migrants possessed blankets and appeared to be prepared to sleep at the border crossing. Children could be heard complaining of the cold.
Authorities explain that migrants may have to wait as long as six months before the opportunity to plead for U.S. asylum is granted.