Time is quickly running out for around 6,000 caravan migrants camped out in Tijuana, Mexico as they await an opportunity to enter the U.S. — legally or illegally — and either claim asylum or try to stay under the radar.
Or more specifically, money is running out.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tijuana’s Treasurer Ricardo Chavarria says it costs his city around $30,000 a day to house the thousands of migrants who are camped out in a sports complex.
And the money set aside to aid the migrants runs out on Friday — which happens to be the last day of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term in office. Tijuana is not planning to carve out more money.
“We won’t compromise the resources of the residents of Tijuana. We won’t raise taxes tomorrow to pay for today’s problem,” said Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum.
The metropolis of 1.3 million is already facing the possibility of having to cut city services in order to make their budget this year.
"This is costing us... to keep these people here and all those funds have to come from someplace and it's municipal funds," warned regional delegate Genaro Moreno.
Meanwhile, the incoming foreign relations secretary of the new presidential administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador predicts that the migrants won’t go away anytime soon.
According to Reuters, three more caravans are on their way.
"Prepare ourselves to assume that a good part of them are going to be in this area of Mexico for the coming months," Marcelo Ebrard said.
A number of Tijuana residents have protested the caravan in their city, calling them “an invasion.” They’re insisting that migrants come into Mexico legally through its southern border rather than breaking through like they have been.
The border between Tijuana and San Diego became a scene of chaos on Sunday as 500 caravan migrants attempted to break through onto the U.S. side. It did not appear that that group was seeking asylum as they struck U.S. Border Patrol agents with thrown rocks, taunted them, and waved Honduran flags.