The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and said Friday that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived.

Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said that the Mexican federal government has provided little assistance and he is not going to commit the city’s public resources to dealing with the situation. He said 4,976 migrants had come to the city.

“We don’t have sufficient and necessary infrastructure to adequately attend to these people, to give them a decent space,” he said on Grupo Formula radio.

Maria del Carmen Mejia holds her daughter Britany Sofia while standing a line outside a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. U.S President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to close the U.S. border with Mexico for an undisclosed period if his administration determines that Mexico has lost
Maria del Carmen Mejia holds her daughter Britany Sofia while standing a line outside a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. U.S President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to close the U.S. border with Mexico for an undisclosed period if his administration determines that Mexico has lost “control” on its side. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

On Thursday, his government issued a statement saying that it was requesting help from the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

“I am not going to spend the money of Tijuana (citizens),” Gasteulum said in the statement.

Migrants listen to Mexican authorities as they join a small group of migrants trying to cross the border at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. A small group of Central American migrants marched peacefully to the border crossing to demand better conditions and push to enter the U.S. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants listen to Mexican authorities as they join a small group of migrants trying to cross the border at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. A small group of Central American migrants marched peacefully to the border crossing to demand better conditions and push to enter the U.S. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Meanwhile, a small group of Central American migrants marched to a border crossing on Thursday to demand better conditions in shelters housing them.

The group of about 150 migrants carrying white flags that read, “La Paz y Dios” or “Peace and God” separated from the larger caravan and inched within 500 feet from the U.S., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

For the most part, the migrant caravan that left Honduras in mid-October was well received by the towns it passed through along the way to the border. Even cities with few resources made sure the migrants had food and a place to rest.

But in those places, the caravan stayed at most two nights — with the exception of Mexico City. In Tijuana, many of the migrants who are fleeing violence and poverty want to request asylum in the United States and face the prospect of spending months in the border city before they have the opportunity to speak with a U.S. official.

Gastelum said Friday that the Mexican government has talked about sending 20 tons of resources to Tijuana to help but that three-fourths consisted of materials to reinforce the border and only 5 tons were materials to actually help the migrants.

Migrant children rest on the ground in front of a line of Mexican police in riot gear, after they tried to cross the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. The children, part of a group of Central American migrants, marched peacefully to the border crossing to demand better conditions and push to enter the U.S. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrant children rest on the ground in front of a line of Mexican police in riot gear, after they tried to cross the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. The children, part of a group of Central American migrants, marched peacefully to the border crossing to demand better conditions and push to enter the U.S. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Most of the migrants are staying at a makeshift shelter at a sports stadium in the city.

Gastelum also criticized the federal government for not taking more seriously U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat Thursday to shut down the entire border if things get out of control in Tijuana.

A man carries a girl on his shoulders at a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Several thousand Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana last week more than a month after leaving Honduras in a caravan. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A man carries a girl on his shoulders at a migrant shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Several thousand Central American migrants arrived in Tijuana last week more than a month after leaving Honduras in a caravan. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

“That’s serious,” he said.

Referring to a protest by a small group of migrants who marched to a border crossing Thursday, Gastelum said such demonstrations are not going to help.

“Thousands of people from Tijuana work in the United States, they arrive late to their jobs,” he said. “From the United States the tourism isn’t coming here. The people aren’t coming to the medical sector. The situation is becoming uncomfortable.”

A migrant get ready to spend the night in front of a line of Mexican police in riot gear at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. A small group of Central American migrants marched peacefully to a border crossing in Tijuana Thursday to demand better conditions and push to enter the U.S. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Source: The Associated Press

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