Mexico to up border security after migrants try to cross

27 November, 2018, 09:22 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • 'Thank you President T': Trump congratulates himself as holiday break ends

The San Ysidro Port of Entry, located between Tijuana and San Diego, had to be closed for hours Sunday after the incident.

Mexico deported scores of Central American migrants arrested after hundreds forced their way through a Mexican police blockade and headed for the United States but were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

As news pictures showing children fleeing tear gas prompted sharp criticism from some lawmakers and rights advocates, the U.S. government agencies defended the response.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer posted a tweet Sunday night urging USA and Mexican officials to resolve the situation without closing the border.

"Images of barefoot children choking on tear gas thrown by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol should shock us to our core", said Vicki Gass, Oxfam America Senior Policy Advisor for Central America.

The group, part of a migrant caravan, were soon stopped near the U.S. border by Mexican authorities, who told them to wait for permission before the stand-off took place. It is the most heavily trafficked land border in the western hemisphere. "The Trump administration should focus on providing a fair and lawful asylum process in the USA rather than seeking more ways to undermine it". How should Mexico and the United States deal with the migrant issue?

The same tear gas agent that the Trump administration is taking heat for deploying against a border mob this weekend is actually used fairly frequently - including a couple of times a month during some years under President Obama, according to Homeland Security data.

The plan, known as "Remain in Mexico", would end a practice Trump has called "catch and release", which he says has allowed those seeking refuge to wait in the us while their asylum claims make their way through the courts.

"Mexico should move the flag-waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries", Trump said in an early morning tweet. U.S. authorities shot tear gas at hundreds of migrants who attempted to storm the U.S. border on Sunday. "Congress, fund the WALL!".

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Tensions on the border had been rising in recent days, with thousands of migrants camped out in a sports stadium in Tijuana and hundreds periodically gathering near the main border crossing.

"We were deluded into believing that we had already reached the United States, and that they would grant us asylum", Colon told AFP.

US lawmakers return to Washington after the US Thanksgiving holiday break and face a deadline to approve funding for the federal government before some funding runs out on 7 December. During his presidential campaign, he promised he'd have Mexico pay for a wall.

Trump has repeatedly suggested without evidence that the migrant caravans are full of hardened criminals, but they are mostly poor people with few belongings who are fleeing gang violence.

Other Democrats complained about threats of "deadly force" against the border incursions, which saw migrants punch through fencing, and launch rocks and bottles at agents who responded to stem the intrusion.

"Tear gassing families seems unnecessary", Lee Gelernt, the deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, told CNN.

"Do you know if they are going to deport us?" asked Melanie Murillo Hernandez, a university student from Honduras who is pregnant and seeking a better life for her child.

For weeks before the 6 November congressional elections, Mr Trump raised the alarm about the migrant caravans and ordered some 5,800 United States troops to the border to support border patrol agents.

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