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It’s been a couple of weeks, the migrants from Central America, moved jointly by Mexico in the direction of the United States, received a lot of attention. At the time, tweeted the US President Donald Trump. In the meantime, it has become quiet around the group, but it is still there – the biggest part of the migrants stuck in Tijuana, the Mexican city on the border to California.

What are the chances, over the course of the long have? We have talked to the political scientist, Luicy Pedroza, who works at the GIGA Institute of global and Regional studies on Migration in Mexico.

Zeit ONLINE: Ms. Pedroza as it is the migrants from the wagon train that traveled in the last few weeks through Mexico towards the USA?

Pedroza: The majority of them arrived in Tijuana. They stayed close to each other. That was the most important feature of the group: they wanted to handle the way together. You have remained faithful.

TIME ONLINE: Recently, it was reported that the whereabouts of more than 2,000 people from the group was unknown. How many are really still together?

Pedroza: There are no precise, reliable Figures. The details are very complicated and they change constantly. It is also in the nature of things. As the people were still in Mexico, but there was also conflicting information: for A time, several groups were probably on the way. Some of the migrants separated from the trek and returned to their countries of origin, or you decided to stay at a Mexican place or on your own move on. Others were added to the group. What we do know for sure: In the sports complex Benito Juárez in Tijuana were last housed 6,000 people.

TIME ONLINE: Why is the community so important for the migrants?

Pedroza: to be In the group, is a strategy to counter the violence and crime in Mexico. Protects you against kidnapping, robbery, sexual violence and even taken by the migration police. Mexico has deported in the past few years, very many people to Central America, without following the prescribed legal procedures.

TIME ONLINE: What does that mean?

diseases of the respiratory system, gastro-intestinal infections: in The end ruled unacceptable conditions.

Pedroza: The people are not aware of what opportunities they had to stay in Mexico. For example, you could apply for asylum, but you don’t know. And if you carry no papers, and their nationality is therefore not fixable, then it will take you just over the border to Guatemala. Also before the affiliation can be used to protect a group. And finally, a group receives more attention by the media and non-governmental organizations as a single Person.

TIME ONLINE: The attention seems to have been the migrants of this group is not helped. The US authorities process applications for asylum only very slowly. The people are now stranded in Tijuana, and in the sports stadium, where they were last housed, was a bad conditions.

Pedroza: It was there in a tent camp, but there was only the most necessary hygiene facilities such as showers and toilets. A third of the people came with diseases of the respiratory system. Others have had gastro-intestinal infections. Although medical have taken care of brigades to the people, in order to prevent the spread of diseases. But then it rained heavily and it was cold. At the end of ruled unacceptable conditions. Therefore, it has housed the people now in a different facility in the South of the city.

TIME ONLINE: It is said that many have refused to relocate there. Is that true?

Some have chosen to stay in Mexico.

Pedroza: Some people trust the authorities. If buses show up to pick them up, then they fear to be deported. You have reason to be, because you have made such experiences. But the stadium had to be vacated. The support was set there, the conditions were just too bad.

TIME ONLINE: How difficult it will be for the people to come to the USA?

Pedroza: For asylum applications and there are long waiting lists. At the Moment, more than 5,000 people on it – it can take months to get it. Therefore, some try to climb over the fence. You climb into the barbed wire, in order to be arrested, because they hope to be able to faster for asylum. Some have decided to stay in Mexico.

TIME ONLINE: How many are there?

Kevin Chung studied literature in Seoul. He is interested in various areas. He can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.