This weekend a caravan of several hundred Central American migrants clashed with the Mexican police who were standing guard near the San Ysidro crossing. The area links San Diego with Tijuana, Mexico.
The group included women who were pushing children in strollers. To dispel them, the US Border Patrol agents fired tear gas.
On Sunday, the border fence that separates California from Mexico saw some migrants throwing “projectiles” at border agents. Video footage showed what appeared to be rocks which were thrown at the agents as the migrants approached the fence.
Later in the day, the US Customs and Border Patrol tweeted that several agents were struck in the process. They revealed that tear gas was used “to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety.”
For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. The advancing group included children who were seen screaming and coughing amid the chaos.
A witness shared that the confrontation started when some migrants cut a hole in concertina wire on the Mexican side of a levee. A Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, 23, explained the experience while cradling her daughter Valery, 3.
She said: “We ran, but when you run, the gas asphyxiates you more.” US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave a statement about the incident.
“As I have continually stated, D.H.S. will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons.”
“We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty.”
Mexico’s Interior Ministry said it would deport almost 500 migrants who captured after trying to “violently” and “illegally” cross the border. At around 11:30 a.m. the US suspended all border crossings at San Ysidro.
According to a statement from Customs and Border Protection, some migrants then “head[ed] towards multiple locations along the border.” They attempted to illegally enter the US but were stopped.
Agents were forced to close the San Ysidro crossing “to ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.” The clash occurred hours after President Donald Trump called on Mexico to keep the migrants from trying to enter the US.
In a tweet, Trump wrote:
“Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer). Dems created this problem. No crossings!”
The migrants at the border are waiting to request asylum at a checkpoint. As more of them join those camped there, their frustration is expected to boil over.
Trump’s top cabinet officials had planned to meet on the same day Mexico City to discuss possible solutions for dealing with the migrant population. However, the clash derailed this plan.
The US president’s administration has demanded that Mexico agree to host the migrants as they wait for a hearing before an immigration judge in the US. It’s believed that they could end up waiting for months or even years.
In April, a large group of Honduran migrants headed north toward the US. As they crossed the Guatemalan border, about a thousand miles south of Texas, Trump started a campaign against them calling the migrants “criminals.”
He also blamed their trip on “open border” Democrats before promising to “close our southern border.” The US president also threatened to cut off aid to all the Central American governments who had “no control over their population.”
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