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Protesters in Tijuana chant ‘Out!’ at Central American migrants

Police stand guard to protect a migrant shelter as demonstrators protest the presence of thousands of Central American migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, Nov. 18, 2018. Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion,” and voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group as they wait possibly months to apply for U.S. asylum. (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP)

Protesters in Tijuana chant 'Out!' at Central American migrants

Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S.

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

U.S. border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana’s main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived.

On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group. (AP)

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