The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Battle at the Border

Mary Rommer


If one were to walk along the United States-Mexico border they would hear the ragged breathing and coughing of ill and weary migrants awaiting their chance to enter the United States of America. Not long thereafter the anguished cries of skirmish as U.S. border patrol and military troops defend against illegal attempts at entry. The border dispute, which was so prominent during midterm elections, is far from over. It has only just begun now that the migrant caravan has reached the United States border.

The caravan has found shelter and aid in the Benito Juarez Sports Complex in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico and more migrants are arriving daily. The complex which has a maximum seating capacity of 1,000 people, is overrun with over 6,000 migrants. The most recent demographic breakdown of the caravan estimates 3,877 men, 1,127 women, and 1,058 children are sheltered in the Sports Complex and the living conditions have become unsanitary. Numerous tents are clustered close together and only thirty-five portable restrooms are available to service the massive group of people. These conditions have led to the spread of illness with reports showing that one third of the immigrants are currently being treated for health issues.


Not only are the migrants battling outbreaks of tuberculosis, respiratory infections, lice, chicken pox, and other illnesses, but, unwilling to settle for such unsatisfactory conditions, many migrants have decided the time has come to break through the border with force. Such attempts on Sunday November 25th ended poorly for sixty-nine migrants involved in throwing rocks at U.S. border agents and setting trees on fire. The United States responded by firing cannisters of tear gas and pepper spray balls at the migrants assaulting them and those climbing through barbed wire and digging under fences. Those migrants responsible for this display have been deported by Mexican officials. One of the migrants arrested has been identified as a member of the MS-13 gang, only one of the 600 identified criminals within the caravan. The United States Department of Justice has decided to send additional agents to the border following the weekend confrontation.


The Mayor of Tijuana, Jaun Manuel Gastelum, announced on Tuesday that with expenditures of $40,000 for each day the city aids the caravan all coming from local government, aid will be depleted within the next few days. It has been made clear that resources will not be taken from the residents of Tijuana and they will not be made to pay higher taxes to support the caravan. At this, some migrants have settled for offers of temporary work and asylum from Mexico, some have begun the trek back to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, while some have not given up on their chance at the American Dream and are still determined to make it into America, whether they are admitted legally through ports of entry or forced to sneak or break their way into the United States. U.S. law does not currently deny illegal aliens from claiming asylum, but the Justice Department has stated its intentions to appeal the court order which disables refusal of asylum to illegal aliens.

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