TIJUANA, Mexico (RTV/NBCNC) – Hundreds of mostly Central American migrants settled into a new shelter after fleeing a filthy, flooded sports complex in Tijuana.
At least 6,000 migrants who descended on the Mexican border city had to move to a former outdoor concert venue after torrential rains reduced the old shelter to a muddy, smelly mess.
The move came on the eve of a presidential inauguration in Mexico that could ease the border crisis with President Trump.
Mexico’s leftist president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took the oath of office Saturday.
He made campaign promises to alleviate poverty and inequality in the country, in part to help stem the flow of Mexico’s own migrants.
Lopez Obrador has welcomed the caravan migrants in speeches, pledging to offer work visas and even jobs.
The Trump administration has viewed the migrants near the U.S. border as a threat.
Immigration lawyer Martiza Agundes said, “All of the migrant caravan are families, they’re children. Of course, there are men here too but the majority of people are women and children who are being threatened, either by domestic violence, or either by not being protected by the police. it’s also men who are being persecuted by gang members, or extorted by gang members, people that are hardworking people, people that are families obviously have such a huge issue in their own country that they’re willing to leave home.”
President Trump has threatened to shut the U.S. border if Mexico does not deport those gathered in Tijuana.
To date, Mexican officials have ignored the threat.