Tijuana, MEX – Members of the migrant caravan that marched across Mexico with the intent of crossing into the United States have demanded that President Donald Trump either let them into the country or hand them $50,000 each so they can go home and become business owners.
“A lot of people are leaving because there is no solution here,” 38-year-old Douglas Matute told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We thought they would let us in. But Trump sent the military instead of social workers.”
Approximately 100 migrants marched to the U.S. Consulate at approximately 11 a.m. on Tuesday to deliver their ultimatum, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“It may seem like a lot of money to you,” the group’s organizer, Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa said. “But it is a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras.”
Ulloa said he left Honduras 30 years ago, after he was falsely accused of attacking a Chinese restaurant there in 1987, he claimed.
He has since established an online petition asking the United States to exonerate him of the alleged offense in Honduras, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Ulloa said that if the U.S. government were to pay each member of his group $50,000 to return to their countries of origin, they could go back and start small businesses of their own.
The group’s letter also asked the U.S. to oust Honduran President Orlando Hernandez from office.
The migrants demanded that the U.S. Consulate respond to their ultimatum within 72 hours, but Ulloa said they have not decided what they will do if their requests are not met.
A second group of approximately 50 migrants delivered their own letter to the U.S. Consulate at approximately 1:20 p.m.
The letter asked U.S. officials to expedite the asylum process by admitting up to 300 migrants at the San Ysidro Port of Entry every day – a significant uptick from the 40 to 100 asylum seekers that are currently being admitted.
“Families, women and children who have fled our countries continue to suffer and the civil society of Tijuana continue to be forces to confront this humanitarian crisis, a refugee crisis caused in great part by decades of U.S. intervention in Central America,” the group said in the letter.
Approximately 15 members of the second group had also participated in a hunger strike to demand an expedited asylum process.
The caravan was comprised of over 6,000 migrants when it reached Tijuana about one month ago.
Since then, an estimated 300 members have been deported, and another 700 have returned to their home countries voluntarily.
Around 2,500 have applied for humanitarian visas in Mexico, on caravan member told Mexican officials on Tuesday, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The remaining members of the caravan are unaccounted for, and may have crossed into the U.S. or settled into other Mexican cities.