After failing to guard its southern borders from Central America’s migrant caravan as it busted through and then providing buses and succor as it snaked northward, Mexico has effectively dumped the entire caravan mess onto its northern city of Tijuana, leaving it with the cost of caring for the uninvited migrants whose prospects for entering the U.S. legally are dim.
Such nice people. But it’s about par for Mexico City, given the famous contempt with which Mexico’s elites hold the country’s northernmost industrial metropolis. Americans can easily sympathize with the plight of Tijuana, given Mexico City’s behavior.
According to the mayor of Tijuana, Mexico City has actually abandoned them, sending no extra money to help cover the costs of its winked-and-nodded-at caravan. More migrants are arriving by the day, crime is up, and now disease is spreading. Now he’s calling for international help.
According to the Daily Mail:
The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and is asking the United Nations for aid to deal with 5,000 Central American migrants who arrived there.
The comments by Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum came as city officials and volunteers worked together to assist the 4,976 men, women and children who traveled there and are sleeping outside and inside a sports complex.
What’s more, Tijuana officials and citizens are placing the blame exactly where it belongs:
Manuel Figueroa, who leads the city’s social services department, said Tijuana was bringing in portable toilets and showers, as well as shampoo and soap.
‘Because of the absence, the apathy and the abandonment of the federal government, we are having to turn to international institutions like the UN’, Figueroa said.
Rene Vazquez, 60, a Tijuana resident who was volunteering at the stadium, said Mexico’s federal government ignored the problem by allowing the caravan to cross the country without stopping. Now the city of 1.6 million is stuck with the fallout.
With that the consensus, it may be a golden opportunity for President Trump to step in and give Tijuana the resources it needs. Sure, diplomacy is done state-to-state, not state-to-municipality. But recent decades have loosened that up a bit, and Trump is nothing if not unconventional. Tijuana has a tradition of acting unconventionally, too. Meanwhile, Trump is one of the players in a position of strength, with Mexico City showing weakness and Tijuana feeling the squeeze. So any arrangement would not come for free, of course, but as part of extending Trump’s leverage through a deal.
Because the political aspect of the picture seems to present opportunities. In TJ, the general sentiment is that Mexico City is withholding aid because Tijuana’s mayor is a conservative and not part of the current ruling party. According to RT News:
[Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel] Gastelum, who is in opposition to the current Mexican government, has been vocal in his disdain for the federal authorities and has sided with US President Donald Trump. Gastelum stirred controversy after he was spotted wearing a red “Make Tujuana great again” cap, and invited an endorsement by the US President himself, who tweeted that like Tijuana, the US is “ill-prepared for this invasion.”
Friendly Tweets from Trump and signs of friendliness from the mayor of Tijuana, who after all, knows his city’s economy is closely linked to a gate with the U.S. and both are conservatives…
I’ll throw out a proposal and though I know not everyone will like it, it just seems like something that could happen to a good result, given President Trump’s experience and success with direct negotiations, and the desirability of keeping the UN’s corrupt pontificators out of the region.
The U.S. helps Tijuana with its humanitarian needs surrounding the migrant caravan as its denizens await their asylum appointments. Any aid, very basic, should also be open to the poor of Tijuana as well.
Tijuana does all it can to discourage future migrant caravans from making their way to the border, from added razor wire of its own on the Mexico side to added city security to prevent a border rush. (Some of this has apparently already been done but there could be more.)
Tijuana holds the caravan organizers who foisted this humanitarian crisis onto the city, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, accountable – and if the latter can’t pay for the food and upkeep of the migrants they enticed to the border in this humanitarian crisis, well, then they’ll have to go to jail for humanitarian crimes.
Tijuana encourages the migrants to accept jobs at Tijuana’s labor-starved maquiladoras (manufacturing factories)- or else no aid.
And some of the aid can be for bus trips for the migrants back to their homelands where they will be encouraged to apply to the U.S. legally.
It’s just a starting ballpark, but the fun of it is that such a deal would drive Mexico City (and U.S. Democrats) crazy. Trump is famous for unconventional dealings, and in an unconventional political challenge such as the invading caravan, a deal could do a lot of good, not just to restore regular legal migration, but to end the perception that Trump is anti-Latino when in fact he and his supporters are just pro-rule of law. Tijuana could benefit from the whole thing, too, and get its problem gone.
Here’s to hoping something like this could be tried.
What an interesting concept that just might work. In the long run, it would be much cheaper for the US to help Mayor Gastelum keep them there in Tijuana than it would be to let them in. It could also prevent a stampede on the border and leave them no choice but to either return home or find a job and a place to live.
I have no idea how you would target a municipality with aid, but if anyone can figure it out, I’d bet Trump can.