MEXICO CITY – Some 1,100 migrants of the Central American caravan could have crossed into the United States, according to Mexican government estimates.
At a press conference, Mexico’s Interior Secretariat (Segob) reported that, of the thousands of migrants who in recent weeks have entered the country as parts of different contingents, around 6,000 reached the border city of Tijuana and about 1,200 arrived at Mexicali in the state of Baja California.
The head of the Mexican Refugee Aid Commission (Comar), Andres Ramirez, said the figures “are not exact,” but that “a census is being taken to give us a more exact number.”
According to what federal authorities have “discussed at different times,” at the El Barretal shelter, the largest established in Tijuana, there are some 2,500 people, and another 300 are at the shelter outside the Benito Juarez Sports Center.
In addition, there are 1,100 people “who could have continued on to the United States” and a similar number taking advantage of the “assisted return,” which means they went back home with the help of the International Organization for Migration (OIM).
Of all those migrants – mostly of Honduran nationality – a “significant number” have applied to be considered refugees in Mexico.
Ramirez said that of the approximately 3,000 people who have applied for asylum since the caravan entered the country last October 19 through the state of Chiapas on the southern border, 571 have been processed in the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali.
The national coordinator of Civil Protection, David Leon, said that up to now there are approximately 400 Central American migrants who have become part of the economy of those border cities, or have migrated elsewhere.
State and municipal authorities have installed job fairs at places where migrants have found shelter.
There are “approximately 15,000 job vacancies that have not been filled by Mexicans” and could be occupied by Central Americans, the head of Civil Protection said.