United States border agents pushed Migrants back with tear gas and rubber bullets

Kim Kyung-Hoon  Reuters

Sunday's melee closed one of the world's busiest global crossings, San Ysidro Port of Entry, near San Diego, to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for several hours.

The New York Times reports that what started as a peaceful march by Central American migrants waiting at the border devolved when a group rushed the crossing into the United States.

So far, around 2,400 members of the migrant caravan have reached the U.S. -Mexico border, and a thousand more are expected this week. Their presence has drawn Mexican troops, protesters and fiery rhetoric from President Donald Trump and Mexican officials.

Sunday's confrontation at the border occurred where there is already a physical barrier.

Mexico after being hit by tear gas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after attempting to illegally cross the border wall into the United States in Tijuana Mexico Nov.25 2018
Adrees Latif Reuters

The use of tear gas has drawn rebukes from Democrats in Washington, from immigration activists elsewhere, and from the Honduran government whose citizens are a majority of the illegal immigrants who broke into Mexico and caravanned their way across to reach the US border.

"We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more", said Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.

As they reached a bridge and stairway that leads to a square near the US border, they were stopped by Mexican authorities, who told them to wait for permission. Every day more than 100,000 people enter the US there.

Hundreds of people were peacefully protesting near the US border in Tijuana, chanting that they aren't criminals, when a smaller group broke off and headed toward the border fence.

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The American Civil Liberties Union released a statement criticizing the decision to use tear gas.

He said that it was a "very risky situation" for agents and they responded appropriately. He has called for an additional 5,000 border patrol agents, yet Congress has failed to act on that.

"They can still apply, he said. My little girl is sick and I don't even have money for milk", said Joseph Garcia, 32, of Honduras.

It added despite heightened tensions there, Mexico would not send military forces to control 7,417 migrants from a caravan now amassed at the US-Mexico border.

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On Sunday, U.S. border agents fired gas into Mexico to deter hundreds of Central American asylum seekers from drawing closer to the U.S. border.

An average of 70,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians cross from Mexico to the United States at San Ysidro each day, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.

It is reported that thousands of migrants attempted to "rush" the border barriers before they were beaten back by United States border patrol agents. Meanwhile, Tijuana's municipal government said that more than three-dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges stemming from the march and what followed. President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is due to be sworn in on Saturday.

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