Mexico border crossing closed after migrant protest halted in Tijuana

27 November, 2018, 07:40 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
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The migrants' arrival has been met by some opposition from people in Tijuana, where many shelters were already at capacity, and on the USA side of the border by increased security measures that include members of the military deployed there by President Donald Trump. "Those persons were stopped and turned back to Mexico".

Although the number of people in the caravan was relatively small, the unrest, with migrants attempting to climb fences and run through auto lanes to reach the US, and scenes of mothers and children choking on tear gas, represented a serious escalation of the caravan crisis.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said it is critical for leaders on both sides of the border to work together to "safely resolve the migrant crisis".

Junior, a migrant from Honduras, waves the American flag while standing with other migrants at the US-Mexico border fence.

A young woman fell to the ground unconscious, and two babies cried, tears streaming from the gas.

Hours earlier, The Washington Post quoted her as saying that the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a "short-term solution" while the USA considered their applications for asylum.

Irineo Mujica, who has accompanied the migrants for weeks as part of the aid group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said the aim of Sunday's march toward the USA border was to make the migrants' plight more visible to the governments of Mexico and the U.S.

"For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico", Mexico's incoming interior minister, Olga Sanchez Cordero, said. But Sunday's action affected only the San Ysidro crossing, the busiest port of entry between the United States and Mexico.

Some attempted to enter through San Ysidro, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement.

The dramatic incident Sunday took place only three days after US President Trump threatened to close the "whole border" with Mexico if "it gets to a level where we're going to lose control or people are going to start getting hurt".

In order to enter the U.S. legally, migrants must apply for asylum, but the process can last for up to a year.

But Mexico's incoming government, which assumes power December 1, denied that it is willing to let USA asylum-seekers stay there pending the outcome of their cases in US immigration courts, which could take years.

Authorities temporarily closed the port of entry "to ensure public safety" after some of the migrants threw "projectiles" at agents as they bore down on the fence, officials said.

"We can't have all these people here", Mujica said.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to express his displeasure with the caravans in Mexico and to make another pitch for his promised border wall. "Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the United States of America".

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, took to Twitter to accuse critics of having to "really hate President Donald Trump to not understand the problems created by the caravans".

Mexico's government says since mid-October, when the first caravan arrived, they have sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their home countries. President Enrique Pena Nieto offered thousands of Central Americans asylum on October 26 if they agreed to remain in southern Mexico. The Mexican government described Sunday's events as "acts of provocation" that were "far from helpful" for the migrants' objectives.


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