Southeast Los Angeles County leaders deliver aid to Central American migrants in Tijuana

TIJUANA, Mexico (KABC) -- After seeing the images of Central American migrants stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border, a small group of southeast Los Angeles County community leaders gathered in Long Beach to leave for Tijuana, Mexico.

"With the hopes to support our brothers and sisters," said Sandy Cajas, of the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

After the group asked for help, residents donated toiletries, shoes and clothes.

"I actually immigrated to the U.S. as well, so I know the reason why they're here, you know, seeking for a better life," Huntington Park Mayor Jhonny Pineda said.

When Eyewitness News and the volunteers arrived at a Tijuana shelter, one migrant shared she fled Central America when her husband was killed by extortionists, who then threatened to kill her 13-year-old son.

"To think that something like that can happen to us again is very difficult. I don't wish it upon anyone, not even the same people who did this," she said.

She has been traveling with her children and her 4-year-old asthmatic granddaughter for about five months, sleeping on the floor and running out of resources. She said she went out to ask good Samaritans for clothes.

"For my part, I don't come for the American dream, I come for a new opportunity so my children live," she said.

Movimiento Juventud 2000's director said about 84 people who were traveling with the migrant caravan found shelter there and sleep in small tents, most of them women and children.

"I see a lot of kids here. I have a 1-year-old daughter and I see what a perfect life she has, compared to the kids that are here today," Pineda said.

Some of them - like the woman we spoke with - still plan to seek asylum in the U.S. While others said they are afraid they will be turned away and deported.

"What we're doing here is an assessment of what is needed in these shelters and our plan is to gather more troops," Pineda said.

Organizers have set up a GoFundMe account to raise money.
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