SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The first wave of migrants fleeing violence in Central America are heading to Tijuana, and the group intends to make their way to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum.
Close to 700 people -- many of them riding on top of cargo trains -- are expected to arrive from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua according to Jorge Nieto, a freelance journalist in Tijuana covering the migrants' journey.
"Most of them are families," Nieto said. "They don’t look like a dangerous people. They look like a people very scared because if they stay in their country, they are going to die."
President Trump has been very vocal about the arrival of the migrant caravan. On Monday, he tweeted: "Despite the Democrat inspired laws on Sanctuary Cities and the Border being so bad and one sided, I have instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security not to let these large Caravans of people into our Country. It is a disgrace. We are the only Country in the World so naive! WALL"
Nieto said more are expected to arrive in Tijuana this week, and they could make their way to the border as early as Tuesday to seek U.S. refuge.
"They're going to walk directly towards the U.S. Customs [and] Border officers and say, ‘I'm from Honduras’ or ‘I'm from El Salvador’ … I'm not carrying a weapon and I'm seeking political asylum or refugee status,’" Nieto said.
A 17-year-old boy from Honduras said he left his home country to escape the harassment of gangs. He said they would threaten to kill him if he didn’t join.
“Walking out of your own home, out of school, someone from a gang would come out and try to force you to join them … and you had to do what they told you,” the teen said.