A source in the San Diego sector of the US Border Patrol told Fox News on Wednesday that a small group was arrested near the beach in the Playas de Tijuana area, and a larger group was arrested in the mountains east of Otay Mesa. All those arrested were trying to cross the border illegally, the source said.
Earlier, USA Today reported that local Mexicans had engaged in a confrontation after local and state officials opened a temporary shelter for the migrants. During the confrontation, the residents sang the Mexican national anthem and waved Mexican flags, chanting “Mexico! Mexico!” each time a bus transporting migrants left the beach for the temporary shelter. The masses of residents and migrants clashed, pushing, shoving and kicking one another. More than three dozen municipal and federal police were at the scene, trying to separate people and prevent the situation from devolving into fistfights and chaos. The USA Today sources also said that at least three journalists were injured.
More than 2,000 members of the caravan are expected to arrive at the US-Mexico border by Thursday. Most of them are situated in the overcrowded shelters in Playas de Tijuana. Others are camped out next to the border fence near the ocean.
“We have to see what we're offered, just so they don't send us back to our country,” said Jairon Sorto, a 22-year-old Honduran who arrived by a bus Wednesday.
Some of the migrants, including Sorto, would consider staying in Tijuana if Mexico would grant them asylum. Sorto said he had turned down Mexico's offer of asylum in the southern part of the country because it was too close to Honduras, from which he fears gang violence.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited US troops in Texas, saying that the deployment of military personnel to the border ordered by President Donald Trump provides good training for war. Most of the troops are concentrated in Texas, more than 1,500 miles from where the caravan will likely arrive.
The first wave of migrants arrived at Tijuana two days ago. Most of the main caravan was reported to still be about 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometres) from the border; however, it has recently been moving hundreds of miles a day by hitching rides on trucks and buses.
The caravan of thousands of asylum seekers began moving north from Central America, predominantly Honduras, via Mexico to the US. It was followed by a second caravan of 1,300 migrants, which is now resting at a Mexico City stadium, and a third consisting of an additional 1,100 migrants, which arrived at the stadium early Wednesday.