Members of the migrant caravan are behind the rise in crime in Tijuana since their arrival, an official in the Mexican border city said.
Genaro Lopez, a municipal delegate, said that there have been 280 arrests since the migrants arrived by the thousands several weeks ago.
“Before it was only for drug possession and being drunk in the streets. Now it’s for breaking and entering into the homes. People have made citizens arrests,” Lopez said during an appearance on Fox News on Dec. 13.
After the host asked Lopez if he was sure it was migrants who broke into the homes, Lopez said yes. “There’s a video on Facebook and in the video, he says his name and says he’s from Honduras,” Lopez added.
“The police are on 24-hour alert on this end. They’re worried about this. We don’t want the crime rates to go up here in Mexico. We’re a tourist town. We live on tourism and Christmas season is one of our best times for tourism here and for sales. Things are not very good right now,” he said.
Tijuana has a population of more than 1.7 million as of 2016. It lies on the border of the United States and includes a portion of the border fence separating the city from America that stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the east.
He also noted that two groups of migrants representing the caravan marched to the U.S. Consulate several days ago, one demanding that U.S. President Donald Trump either let all the migrants in or pay them each $50,000.
“So they’re demanding money or they won’t leave. That sounds like an extortion attempt,” host Tucker Carlson said.
“Sounds like a ransom, yeah. You want them to go back, you have to give them $50,000 to each one of them. Like 700 have [gone back to their home countries],” Lopez responded.
“Tijuana is a great town. It opens its arms to anyone that wants to come here in peace. And to live here, no problem. If you come here in a violent mood, if you come here against our sovereignty, you’re not welcome here. We don’t want this problem, we have our own problems.”
Protest Against Caravan
Hundreds of Tijuana residents protested against the caravan flooding into the city in mid-November.
Magdalena Baltazar, 40, held a sign saying “Mexicans love beans” after hearing that the migrants, from Central America, had been complaining about the food Mexico has offered them.
“They complained that the tacos, the tortillas with beans, are food for animals,” Baltazar told The Epoch Times. “It is actually one of the foods that people here in Mexico have at home. How is it possible that immigrants come here to criticize Mexico’s food?”
Elvia Villegas said she admires President Trump, “because he is defending his borders.”
“Not like here in Mexico, where politicians are corrupt and do not defend their borders,” she said.