Donald Trump demands Mexico moves migrants from the United States border

Minnie Murray
November 27, 2018

Otherwise, Gastelum said the Mexican government has pledged to increase federal law enforcement presence in Tijuana and do everything possible to ensure safety in the city.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were struck by projectiles thrown by the migrants.

Some saw an opportunity to breach the crossing. "But you really say, why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming?" Mexico's Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

Children screamed and coughed.

The wind carried some of the gas toward hundreds of migrants after some tried to get through the wire and fencing separating the two countries. One woman told San Diego public media journalist Jean Guerrero that she plans on going back to Honduras with her children because she doesn't want to risk her sons' lives.

CBP added that some demonstrators "attempted to illegally enter the USA through both the northbound and southbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry itself".

The ministry said in a statement it would immediately deport those people and would reinforce security.

As the chaos unfolded, shoppers just yards away on the US side streamed in and out of an outlet mall, which eventually closed.

The San Ysidro Port of Entry - the busiest land border crossing in the western hemisphere, according to the federal government - was shut down for around five hours Sunday.

The incident lasted almost two hours, with two groups of migrants tear gassed after they crossed the Tijuana River, eventually returning to a stadium where they've camped for days, waiting for the opportunity to apply for asylum.

Thousands of migrants seeking asylum have piled up at the border in recent weeks, looking to enter the escape violence in their home countries.

A migrant holding a USA flag, right, speaks with others waking up at the Benito Juarez Sports Center that's serving as a temporary shelter in Tijuana, Mexico, early Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Many hope to apply for asylum in the US, but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.

Trump hit out again by threatening a permanent closure of the frontier, and defended the use of tear gas by USA border patrol.

"We ran, but the smoke always reached us and my daughter was choking", Sarmiento said, visibly shaken.

Trump administration officials have characterized the vast majority of asylum claims as fraudulent or legally insufficient, and have taken steps to reduce the backlog of asylum claims that they say are often used by migrants to gain entry into the US and disappear into the country as their claims are adjudicated.

But it's also possible that Sunday's clash was borne of increasing desperation caused by the hardening of the policies, said Rachel Schmidtke, program associate for migration at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Mexico Institute. McAleenan said he was not aware of any successful illegal entries by caravan members into the US.

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