Seven in ten Mexicans reportedly have a negative view of Central American migrants in the caravan while majorities oppose giving migrants work visas and support tougher enforcement measures, according to a comprehensive poll conducted by one of Mexico’s biggest newspapers, El Universal.
NBC News on Monday evening reported the results of Sunday’s El Universal survey that found that a majority of Mexicans also support blocking migrants “from entering the country without legal documents” and another 55 percent support “tougher measures on future caravans.”
In addition, a majority of Mexicans (52%) also oppose President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s measure to provide work visas to the migrants. Lopez Obrador will take office on December 1.
On Sunday, the U.S. government closed the San Ysidro border crossing after migrants tried to storm their way into the United States while throwing rocks at Border Patrol officers, who had to use tear gas disperse the migrants.
Tensions have also flared in Tijuana and other parts of Mexico as Mexicans reportedly do not want Central American migrants causing crime, taking jobs, and receiving public services in their communities.
The Daily Beast reported last week that the thousands of migrants who have flooded into Tijuana have “generated a nationalist backlash from a segment of residents here that views the migrants as a threat to public safety, and as unwanted competition for jobs and public services.” The outlet reported that “seven migrants were arrested on charges of public disorder, including several for reportedly smoking marijuana on the beach.”
Tijuana’s mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum, who has also reportedly described the migrants as “violent, crude, and ‘mariguanos’ (‘stoners’),” has said his city is not equipped to handle the influx of of migrants. He has been seen in recent weeks wearing a red “Make Tijuana Great Again” cap along with some other residents.
— Así Las Cosas (@asilascosasw) November 16, 2018
NBC News reported that some Tijuana business owners and residents, angry that the migrants forced the border closing, on Sunday “came out with bats and sticks and threatened the migrants.”
And surrounding schools have been shut down – all the kids have been sent home. This Mom saying when she went to drop her kids off they told her they’re shutting the school today for the children’s safety #MigrantCaravan pic.twitter.com/Y8SqAomYiV
— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 26, 2018
Residents + local business owners from #Tijuana begin to riot as federal police try to calm them – the border crossing has been shut for hrs – biz owners say they are losing valuable $ – some brought bats & sticks to beat up migrants w/ so they wouldn’t come back #MigrantCaravan pic.twitter.com/qoZ3iiwP9b
— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 25, 2018
“They should not be here in Tijuana,” an upset resident reportedly told Mexican authorities, according to NBC News.
On Monday, Mexican officials reportedly shut down schools near the border “for the children’s safety,” according to a mother NBC News interviewed.
Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego. Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents' safety. Several agents were hit by the projectiles. The situation is evolving and a statement is forthcoming.
— CBP (@CBP) November 25, 2018