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Mexico to up security at border after migrants try to cross

27 November, 2018, 07:39 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Tijuana declares 'humanitarian crisis' seeks help from UN

On Saturday, Trump said the migrants would not be allowed into the United States until a court approves their asylum claim, which would break from existing policy allowing asylum seekers to remain in the USA until an immigration judge hears their case. A federal judge has at least temporarily ruled against the policy, but the administration has taken steps to harden the border.

On Monday morning President Trump tweeted that numerous migrants are "stone cold criminals", and threatened to close the border permanently.

"Every once in a while, a new group gathers there, at the U.S. -Mexico border fence - and then pretty quickly after that, they are dispersed using tear gas".

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. "Congress, fund the WALL!" he added.

More than a hundred migrants who tried to rush through the border were turned back as American agents fired tear gas at the approaching crowds.

Soon after the migrants began their midday march to the border in Tijuana, Mexico, they were met by Mexican federal police officers at a bridge that leads to the San Ysidro border crossing, through which millions of people and vehicles pass each year. Close to 3,000 migrants took Mexico up on the offer. "Once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing, we had two or three agents at a time initially, facing hundreds of people at a time, they deployed tear gas to protect themselves and to protect the border".

"After being prevented from entering the port of entry, some of these migrants attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them", Nielsen said. "DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons".

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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said U.S. authorities will continue to have a "robust" presence along the southwest border and that anyone who damages federal property or violates American sovereignty would be prosecuted.

The mayor of Tijuana said on Sunday that he would not let the migrants' actions damage the city's relationship with its neighbors across the border. When asked if any of the agents had been hurt he admitted they were not.

The situation Sunday was not unprecedented.

Reporting from Tijuana, correspondent Mireya Villarreal said that the official port of entry was closed for about five hours yesterday.

Lurbin Sarmiento, 26, of Copan, Honduras, walked back to the sports complex with her 4-year-old daughter shaken from what had unfolded a short time earlier at the Tijuana River and US border.

Within an hour on Sunday, the group from the caravan that rushed toward the border largely dispersed. The legal bar for claiming asylum is high and generally requires applicants to show a specific risk of persecution based on factors such as race, nationality, politics or religion.


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