Correspondent focusing on Mexico, Central America and other parts of Latin America
US. military personnel and border patrol troops gather at the US-Mexico border on Sunday at the San Ysidro border south…
TIJUANA, Mexico – US authorities closed off the busiest port on the border with Mexico borders with Mexico on Sunday and fired tear gas at members of a migrating caravan in Central America that had hurried the fencing that separates the countries.
Although the number of people in the caravan was relatively small, the unrest, with immigrants trying to climb the fence and drive through motorways to reach the United States, and scenes of mothers and children who tore the tear gas was a serious escalation of the caravan crisis.
What started Sunday mornings as an immigration test against the slow pace of the US asylum application went to a chaotic distortion where hundreds turned their way to the border and hoped to cross the United States. To block what happens and like some thrown stones and bottles, the US authorities took the rare step of firing tear gas in Mexico as well as closing all legal vehicles and foot traffic to the San Ysidro border crossing as US officials say usually have about 100,000 visitors a day.
The Department of Home Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that the port of entry was closed “to ensure public security in response to a large number of immigrants trying to enter the US illegally.”
Some of the Migrants tried to break the border and “tried to harm CBP staff by throwing projectiles on them,” said the statement.
The Mexico Interior Ministry added that nearly 500 immigrants had tried to cross the border in a “violent way”. The Mexican authorities said they would reject all who tried to cross illegally.
Before 9:00 PM, CBP said the port for entry had been opened.
The statement added that during the day there were “multiple instances of people throwing projectiles at CBP staff” and “several confirmed concerns” for those who tried to enter the US illegally, as well as “many more attempts to cross-border cross-border”.
“There was also abuse of CBP staff, with several US border patrol troops hit by rocks,” said the statement.
President Trump has repeatedly threatened to close border crossings to prevent migrant caravan from entering the United States. Although the caravan members have been in Tijuana for several days, it’s the first time a significant group has massaged at the border.
The San Ysidro crossing is a large complex with several lanes with car and pedestrians. In recent days, Mexican authorities and others have been concerned about the US economic impact of closing such an important transition for trade and travelers.
Duncan Wood, Head of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, said in a statement that “closing the border is a drastic response to a serious incident but it’s important to calm it The head prevails. “
” Closing a border crossing as [San Ysidro] means more than temporary losses of millions of dollars and serious interference with trade and life at the border, “he added.
After starting in Honduras and traveling across Mexico, the first members of the caravan arrived in Tijuana about two weeks ago. Over the last few days, the group has grown to more than 8,200, with approximately 7,400 members of the border towns in Tijuana and Mexicali, according to Mexican authorities. Tijuana mayor declared the situation a humanitarian crisis.
The majority of the group has camped at a sports facility across a highway from the border block. While the protest happened with a small part of the caravan, thousands stayed behind in the sports facility. US border workers have said they have limited capacity to treat asylum seekers, up to 100 per day. Asylum seekers waiting at the border said that only 40 per day would be released on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, 80 were allowed.
In the last few days, immigrants have planned protest on Sunday to express their frustration about the Wait and Conditions where they live, including targets asking Trump to let in them.
“Desperation has led some people to believe the crossing is possible,” said Alex Almendares, 22, member of the caravan from Colón, Honduras. “The United States has not given us any response, and the situation in the area of protection continues to worsen.”
On Sunday morning, the protest march went against one of the pedestrian streets. The Mexican police in the riot equipment blocked their way and a rupture broke out between the police and a few dozen protesters. After being killed, the situation became more chaotic, with some immigrants drove over a dry canal and others tried to cross different places.
U.S. authorities fired tear gas that watered in Mexico and caused migrants to run away from the smokers. No serious injuries were reported immediately.
As federal law enforcement officials, border patrols have wide breadth to use violence if they consider they are at risk or at risk of injury. An agent in Arizona who fired his service weapon through the border in response to rock casters killed a 16-year-old boy was released Wednesday due to involuntary death.
Maria Louisa Caceres, 42, and her son followed people who drove to the fence.
“We thought it was a peaceful march today, but then I saw everyone running and I thought,” This is it, God will touch Trump’s heart, “she said.
Caceres, a tortilla seller from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, said she had fled from her hometown and joined the caravan after the gang members killed two brothers and burned the house. She said she wants asylum in the United States, but really wants life to get better now.
Standing at the fence when she realized there was no way to cross the border, she said she did not know what would happen to the next. “Now we wait,” she added.
Elizabeth Chirinos, 37, said she followed others who ran across the border because she felt desperate.
“The United States does not let us go through and I can not live under the conditions of protection,” she said. “I want to go to the United States and not stay in Mexico for that there are more opportunities. “
Almendares said immigrants like pro testing at the border will not help its case.
“Only people get mad on us, and I want asylum,” he said.
Partlow reported from Mexico City. Nick Miroff in Washington contributed to this report.