Over in Tijuana, the locals aren't thrilled about migrant caravan moving in

If you'd like to know what real Mexicans think of the Central American caravan snaking through their country, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Sandra Dibble actually went out to Tijuana, their final destination before entering the U.S., and asked one:

“Why do they have to come to this completely residential area,” asked Gloria Martinez, who lives across the street. “Why did they have to come here? Just now, I saw one in a bikini taking out the trash.”

The residents of Tijuana, where the organizing group, Pueblo Sin Fronteras has a base, and where the migrants are camping out in an upscale Playas de Tijuana apartment or condo, are actually organizing a neighborhood group against the coming mess:

Just the prospect of the arrival of large numbers of Central Americans already has fueled opposition of some Tijuana residents. A Facebook group, Tijuana en Contra de la Caravana Migrante (Tijuana Against the Migrant Caravan) — counted more than 1,000 members. It calls for deportation of caravan members without legal status in Mexico, a measure necessary “to avoid their causing a collapse of our region.”

Now, I've been to Tijuana, and that includes Playa del Rey. That area is a normal place, and doesn't look all that different from San Diego. Language schools to teach English are advertised, condos and loans and mortgages are advertised on street signs, the grocery stores look normal, there are travel agencies, car repair shops, and shopping malls. The people follow traffic laws, the cafes serve normal food, the gas stations are normal, and the little Protestant churches feature Gospel singing on Sunday. It's not crime-free, given the bars on some of the windows, but there's very little graffiti, there's no trash, and you don't see idle young men standing around looking menacing. It's actually a pretty nice, pretty normal place.

I've actually been to Tijuana with Sandra Dibble, who wrote the piece, and can tell you she's by far the best border reporter there is, and is to be applauded for not trying to shield readers from unpleasant facts or inconvenient narratives. Note that she gives the flavor of the whole thing by noting that the migrants draped the Honduran flag outside their bus, a detail you'd never see CNN or the Washington Post report.

What we are seeing here with this is that the whole migrant caravan isn't just people fleeing persecution, but an organized political stunt, one that will create quite a bit of cost and mess for those caught in its tracks. The Mexican locals are onto it, they know they're going to bear most of the burden and get zero benefit from it, while others stand to reap big. No wonder they don't want it around.

Time for a little cross-border solidarity with the people of Tijuana.

 

 

Image credit: Fox News, via YouTube screengrab

If you'd like to know what real Mexicans think of the Central American caravan snaking through their country, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Sandra Dibble actually went out to Tijuana, their final destination before entering the U.S., and asked one:

“Why do they have to come to this completely residential area,” asked Gloria Martinez, who lives across the street. “Why did they have to come here? Just now, I saw one in a bikini taking out the trash.”

The residents of Tijuana, where the organizing group, Pueblo Sin Fronteras has a base, and where the migrants are camping out in an upscale Playas de Tijuana apartment or condo, are actually organizing a neighborhood group against the coming mess:

Just the prospect of the arrival of large numbers of Central Americans already has fueled opposition of some Tijuana residents. A Facebook group, Tijuana en Contra de la Caravana Migrante (Tijuana Against the Migrant Caravan) — counted more than 1,000 members. It calls for deportation of caravan members without legal status in Mexico, a measure necessary “to avoid their causing a collapse of our region.”

Now, I've been to Tijuana, and that includes Playa del Rey. That area is a normal place, and doesn't look all that different from San Diego. Language schools to teach English are advertised, condos and loans and mortgages are advertised on street signs, the grocery stores look normal, there are travel agencies, car repair shops, and shopping malls. The people follow traffic laws, the cafes serve normal food, the gas stations are normal, and the little Protestant churches feature Gospel singing on Sunday. It's not crime-free, given the bars on some of the windows, but there's very little graffiti, there's no trash, and you don't see idle young men standing around looking menacing. It's actually a pretty nice, pretty normal place.

I've actually been to Tijuana with Sandra Dibble, who wrote the piece, and can tell you she's by far the best border reporter there is, and is to be applauded for not trying to shield readers from unpleasant facts or inconvenient narratives. Note that she gives the flavor of the whole thing by noting that the migrants draped the Honduran flag outside their bus, a detail you'd never see CNN or the Washington Post report.

What we are seeing here with this is that the whole migrant caravan isn't just people fleeing persecution, but an organized political stunt, one that will create quite a bit of cost and mess for those caught in its tracks. The Mexican locals are onto it, they know they're going to bear most of the burden and get zero benefit from it, while others stand to reap big. No wonder they don't want it around.

Time for a little cross-border solidarity with the people of Tijuana.

 

 

Image credit: Fox News, via YouTube screengrab