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Mexico starts moving some migrants to new shelter

Authorities in the Mexican city of Tijuana said Friday they have begun moving Central American migrants from an overcrowded shelter on the border to an events hall further away.

About 755 migrants boarded buses at the overcrowded sports complex within view of the border late Thursday and early Friday for the trip to the new site about 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the nearest border crossing.

Alejandro Magallanes, an assistant to the director of the city’s social services department, said authorities hoped to bus over as many migrants as possible Friday. Concerns had been growing over unhealthy conditions at the muddy sports field where migrants are sleeping in small tents.

Magallanes said nobody would be forced to move to the new facility, a large building known as El Barretal that has been used for concerts and other events in the past.

But city officials planned to stop offering food and medical services at the Benito Juarez sports complex next to the border on Friday.

Migrants would be allowed to stay – many who hope to cross don’t want to move far away from the border – but they will have to find their own food, Magallanes said.

Authorities in the Mexican city of Tijuana said Friday they have begun moving Central American migrants from an overcrowded shelter on the border to an events hall further away.

A Honduran migrant climbs the border wall separating Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, before crossing to the U.S with his son in Tijuana, Mexico

A Honduran migrant climbs the border wall separating Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, before crossing to the U.S with his son in Tijuana, Mexico

A U.S. Border Patrol agent pats down Honduran migrants after they crossed onto U.S territory from Tijuana, Mexico, Friday

A U.S. Border Patrol agent pats down Honduran migrants after they crossed onto U.S territory from Tijuana, Mexico, Friday

Authorities hold a Honduran migrant who was rescued after he tried to cross the US border by the sea in Tijuana beach

Authorities hold a Honduran migrant who was rescued after he tried to cross the US border by the sea in Tijuana beach

A Haitian migrant woman holds her baby as she waits in line to put her name on a migrant-run, months-long list to request U.S. asylum, alongside the El Chaparral pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana

A Haitian migrant woman holds her baby as she waits in line to put her name on a migrant-run, months-long list to request U.S. asylum, alongside the El Chaparral pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana

People headed across the U.S. border walk up a ramp at the El Chaparral pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana

People headed across the U.S. border walk up a ramp at the El Chaparral pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana

A doll is seen next to chemical toilets at a temporary shelter where Central American migrants trying to reach the US are

A doll is seen next to chemical toilets at a temporary shelter where Central American migrants trying to reach the US are

Members of the Central American migrant caravan are starting to lose hope, and in some cases are turning back after more than a month's trek

Members of the Central American migrant caravan are starting to lose hope, and in some cases are turning back after more than a month’s trek

A mother and her child wait in Tijuana as they contemplate what to do next in their quest to reach the United States

A mother and her child wait in Tijuana as they contemplate what to do next in their quest to reach the United States

A migrant woman, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, holds her child as they receive food outside a shelter in Tijuana

A migrant woman, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, holds her child as they receive food outside a shelter in Tijuana

Migrants awake at dawn in the street outside a shelter housing thousands of migrants in Tijuana

Migrants awake at dawn in the street outside a shelter housing thousands of migrants in Tijuana

Honduran migrant Denny Guevara (C), 26, who trekked Central America and Mexico with a caravan in hopes of reaching the US, does his laundry after working at a supermarket in Tijuana, Baja California State

Honduran migrant Denny Guevara (C), 26, who trekked Central America and Mexico with a caravan in hopes of reaching the US, does his laundry after working at a supermarket in Tijuana, Baja California State

A migrant girl, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, tries to avoid flooded ground by holding on to the door of a toilet after heavy rainfall in a temporary shelter in Tijuana

A migrant girl, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, tries to avoid flooded ground by holding on to the door of a toilet after heavy rainfall in a temporary shelter in Tijuana

Experts had expressed concerns about unsanitary conditions at the sports complex where more than 6,000 migrants are packed into a space adequate for half that many people. Mud, lice infestations and respiratory infections are rampant.

Magallanes said many migrants squeezed into a gymnasium at the outdoor sports complex amid a steady downpour Thursday night. The complex was covered with mud with the storm. On Friday, rain was intermittent with breaks in the clouds.

Some migrants had found work near the sports complex and were unsure about moving to a place they did not know, though it meant they would have a roof over their heads.

But authorities and residents in Tijuana are concerned the migrants might try to make another mass rush across the border: Their first attempt last weekend led to a brief closure of border crossings that Tijuana residents use to reach jobs and shopping on the U.S. side.

Overnight, several migrants swam around or climbed over the border barrier only be to detained by U.S. officials.

Six men and one woman jumped or slipped over the border barrier in Tijuana and were quickly detained by customs and border protection agents.

One Honduran man tried to swim to the U.S. side but quickly got in trouble in the rough waters of the Pacific. A Mexican rescue team forcibly pulled him ashore and put him into an ambulance.

Honduran migrants rest on a blanket at a shelter, to which they were transferred to the day before

Honduran migrants rest on a blanket at a shelter, to which they were transferred to the day before

Members of the Central American migrant caravan are starting to lose hope, and in some cases are turning back after more than a month's trek

Members of the Central American migrant caravan are starting to lose hope, and in some cases are turning back after more than a month’s trek

A Honduran migrant wears a blanket as protection from the cold at a shelter, to which he was transferred to the day before

A Honduran migrant wears a blanket as protection from the cold at a shelter, to which he was transferred to the day before

A Honduran migrant walks with his son in his arms after jumping the wall to the U.S that separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, in Tijuana

A Honduran migrant walks with his son in his arms after jumping the wall to the U.S that separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, in Tijuana

A boy examines a flooded tent between bouts of heavy rain at a sports complex sheltering thousands of Central Americans in Tijuana, Mexico

A boy examines a flooded tent between bouts of heavy rain at a sports complex sheltering thousands of Central Americans in Tijuana, Mexico

Rescuers hold a Honduran migrant who tried to cross the U.S. border by the sea in Tijuana. Aid workers and humanitarian organizations expressed concerns  about the unsanitary conditions at the sports complex where more than 6,000 wait

Rescuers hold a Honduran migrant who tried to cross the U.S. border by the sea in Tijuana. Aid workers and humanitarian organizations expressed concerns about the unsanitary conditions at the sports complex where more than 6,000 wait

Migrants wait for a chance to request U.S. asylum, alongside the El Chaparral pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Authorities have begun moving some of the 6,000 migrants from an overcrowded shelter on the border to an events hall further awa

Migrants wait for a chance to request U.S. asylum, alongside the El Chaparral pedestrian border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Authorities have begun moving some of the 6,000 migrants from an overcrowded shelter on the border to an events hall further awa

Migrants carry their goods during the heavy rain at Benito Juarez Sports unit in Tijuana

Migrants carry their goods during the heavy rain at Benito Juarez Sports unit in Tijuana

Honduran migrants arrive at a new shelter, in Tijuana, Mexico. A group of migrants boarded buses at an overcrowded sports complex within view of the border late Thursday and early Friday to a new site, an events hall a little further away

Honduran migrants arrive at a new shelter, in Tijuana, Mexico. A group of migrants boarded buses at an overcrowded sports complex within view of the border late Thursday and early Friday to a new site, an events hall a little further away

Honduran migrant and asylum seeker Carla sits outside the tent she shares with family members in the Benito Juarez temporary shelter on November 30, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico

Honduran migrant and asylum seeker Carla sits outside the tent she shares with family members in the Benito Juarez temporary shelter on November 30, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico

Honduran migrant Edwin Garcia, 27, who trekked Central America and Mexico with a caravan in hopes of reaching the US, walks to a temporary shelter after coming back from work in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico

Honduran migrant Edwin Garcia, 27, who trekked Central America and Mexico with a caravan in hopes of reaching the US, walks to a temporary shelter after coming back from work in Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico

Migrants worship during a street prayer outside the Benito Juarez temporary shelter. Rains yesterday in Tijuana brought flooding to sections of the shelter, which is located in a soccer complex

Migrants worship during a street prayer outside the Benito Juarez temporary shelter. Rains yesterday in Tijuana brought flooding to sections of the shelter, which is located in a soccer complex

Migrants prepare to depart on a bus from a temporary shelter where they were staying, on their way to a new shelter on the eastern side of the city in Tijuana, Mexico

Migrants prepare to depart on a bus from a temporary shelter where they were staying, on their way to a new shelter on the eastern side of the city in Tijuana, Mexico

The city, energetic but chaotic under normal circumstances, was ill-prepared for the sudden arrival of thousands of immigrants

The city, energetic but chaotic under normal circumstances, was ill-prepared for the sudden arrival of thousands of immigrants

Brittany Rios, of Honduras, center, carries stuffed animals in a wicker basket as her family leaves a shelter for members of the Central American migrant caravan in Tijuana

Brittany Rios, of Honduras, center, carries stuffed animals in a wicker basket as her family leaves a shelter for members of the Central American migrant caravan in Tijuana

Meanwhile, the number of U.S. active duty troops at the southern border will drop from 5,600 to about 4,000, but their deployment will be extended through the end of January, under a new request from Homeland Security, U.S. officials said Friday.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is traveling and has not yet approved the DHS troop proposal. But military officials have been working with the agency on the request and it is expected to get approval.

President Donald Trump ordered the unusual deployment of active-duty troops to the border in response to a caravan of Central American migrants slowly north toward the U.S. Critics dismissed the deployment as a political stunt ahead of the midterm elections

Most of the troops have been deployed in Texas, far from where the migrants eventually arrived in Tijuana, along the southern border with California. Soldiers have strung vast amounts of concertina wire and transported Border Patrol agents but have not been engaged in any law enforcement activities, which would be prohibited under U.S. law.

The initial deployment was scheduled to end December 15, but Mattis and other officials had said it could be extended. The new order extends it for 45 days while allowing about 1,600 troops to return home.

U.S. officials described the new request on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations that had not yet been approved.

Luis Bustamante, an official from the Mexican state of Baja California, tries to answer questions from a group of Central American migrants

Luis Bustamante, an official from the Mexican state of Baja California, tries to answer questions from a group of Central American migrants

A migrant man remove his tent during the heavy rain at Benito Juarez Sports unit in Tijuana

A migrant man remove his tent during the heavy rain at Benito Juarez Sports unit in Tijuana

A U.S. Border Patrol detains Honduran migrants after they walked onto U.S territory from Tijuana

A U.S. Border Patrol detains Honduran migrants after they walked onto U.S territory from Tijuana

A U.S. Border Patrol agent keeps an eye on a group of Honduran migrants standing near the border wall as seen from Tijuana,  The group eventually crossed and were immediately detained

A U.S. Border Patrol agent keeps an eye on a group of Honduran migrants standing near the border wall as seen from Tijuana, The group eventually crossed and were immediately detained

A central American migrant holding a child, part of a caravan which trekked Central America and Mexico in the hopes of reaching the United States, is seen after crossing the US-Mexico border fence illegally

A central American migrant holding a child, part of a caravan which trekked Central America and Mexico in the hopes of reaching the United States, is seen after crossing the US-Mexico border fence illegally

A Central American migrant who trekked for over a month across Central America and Mexico with a caravan in the hopes of reaching the United States, climbs the US-Mexico border fence to cross illegally from Baja California State to San Diego

A Central American migrant who trekked for over a month across Central America and Mexico with a caravan in the hopes of reaching the United States, climbs the US-Mexico border fence to cross illegally from Baja California State to San Diego

A woman makes instant coffee over a campfire a day beside belongings soaked in rains which continued overnight

A woman makes instant coffee over a campfire a day beside belongings soaked in rains which continued overnight

People sleep in tents on a wet street as dawn breaks, outside the Benito Juarez sports complex where thousands of migrants were camping out

People sleep in tents on a wet street as dawn breaks, outside the Benito Juarez sports complex where thousands of migrants were camping out

Official said Friday that the troops staying at the border will provide support and protection for border patrol agents and continue to put up and repair wire barriers. In addition, more troops are expected to shift from Texas and Arizona to California.

As of Friday, 2,400 troops were deployed in Texas, 1,800 in California and 1,400 in Arizona.

According to officials, the troops staying at the border would include combat engineers who can install and repair the concertina wire barriers, helicopter crews to provide transportation, military police to protect U.S. forces and border patrol, and other service members to provide ongoing food, shelter and other support for the troops.

As of last week, the cost of using troops to help secure the border was estimated at $210 million, but this extension is likely to increase that figure.

That total included $72 million for approximately 5,900 active-duty troops providing support to Customs and Border Protection, plus $138 million so far for 2,100 National Guard troops who have been performing a separate border mission since April, according to a report sent to Congress early last week.

A migrant woman, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, waits to board a bus to be transferred to a new shelter next to police and migration officers in Tijuana

A migrant woman, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, waits to board a bus to be transferred to a new shelter next to police and migration officers in Tijuana

A migrant, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, has his temporary ID bracelet removed before boarding a bus to be transferred to a new shelter

A migrant, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, has his temporary ID bracelet removed before boarding a bus to be transferred to a new shelter

A migrant woman, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, boards a bus to be transferred to a new shelter

A migrant woman, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, boards a bus to be transferred to a new shelter

A boy plays with a face cutout poster of a pregnant woman, as migrants decide individually whether to accept the city's plan to move them to a new shelter from the Benito Juarez sports complex, in Tijuana

A boy plays with a face cutout poster of a pregnant woman, as migrants decide individually whether to accept the city’s plan to move them to a new shelter from the Benito Juarez sports complex, in Tijuana

Mexican officials help a boy from Honduras as his family leaves a shelter for members of the Central American migrant caravan, heading to a new shelter in Tijuana

Mexican officials help a boy from Honduras as his family leaves a shelter for members of the Central American migrant caravan, heading to a new shelter in Tijuana

Brittany Rios,of Honduras, carries stuffed animals in a wicker basket as her family leaves a shelter as authorities in Tijuana move Central American migrants from an overcrowded shelter on the border to an events hall further away

Brittany Rios,of Honduras, carries stuffed animals in a wicker basket as her family leaves a shelter as authorities in Tijuana move Central American migrants from an overcrowded shelter on the border to an events hall further away

Migrants try to get out from the flooded area after the heavy rain at Benito Juarez Sports unit in Tijuana, Mexico

Migrants try to get out from the flooded area after the heavy rain at Benito Juarez Sports unit in Tijuana, Mexico

Living in squalid conditions on a Tijuana baseball field, what’s left of the migrant caravan clings to hope

Living in squalid conditions on a Tijuana baseball field, what’s left of the migrant caravan clings to hope

A migrant man wearing hat with a USA flag carries a girl in the flooded area after the heavy rain

A migrant man wearing hat with a USA flag carries a girl in the flooded area after the heavy rain

Tijuana lifeguards and firefighters rescue a migrant, allegedly part of the Central American migrants -mostly from Honduras traveling to the Unided States- as he was trying to cross to the United States through the sea in Playas de Tijuana

Tijuana lifeguards and firefighters rescue a migrant, allegedly part of the Central American migrants -mostly from Honduras traveling to the Unided States- as he was trying to cross to the United States through the sea in Playas de Tijuana

Honduran migrant children wear garbage bags to protect them from a cold rain as they sit on the stoop of a shop in Tijuana

Honduran migrant children wear garbage bags to protect them from a cold rain as they sit on the stoop of a shop in Tijuana

TOPSHOT - A girl who trekked for over a month across Central America and Mexico within a caravan of Central American migrants, mostly Hondurans, in the hopes of reaching the United States, cries at the temporary shelter in Tijuana

TOPSHOT – A girl who trekked for over a month across Central America and Mexico within a caravan of Central American migrants, mostly Hondurans, in the hopes of reaching the United States, cries at the temporary shelter in Tijuana

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