US agents fire tear gas and rubber bullets at hundreds of migrants

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6427735/Border-Patrol-fires-tear-gas-migrants-tried-open-small-hole-Mexican-side.html

US Border Patrol shot tear gas and rubber bullets at a group of migrants, including toddlers, as members of the caravan tried to storm the border.

Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem at the San Ysidro Port of Entry when American agents tried to push the surging Central Americans back.

They started to use crowd control on Sunday afternoon when migrants tried to cut a hole in the concertina wire gap on the Mexican side of the fence.

The tensions prompted US officials to close the crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, stopping thousands of people travelling legitimately between the US and Mexico.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she would not put up with this ‘lawlessness’ and threatened harsh punishments on ‘anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our sovereignty’.

She later added that border personnel were ‘struck by projectiles thrown by caravan members’. She condemned those responsible for their ‘dangerous’ actions that were ‘not consistent with peacefully seeking asylum’.

A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana on Sunday

A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana on Sunday

A migrant girl from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, cries after running away from tear gas in Tijuana on Sunday

A migrant girl from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, cries after running away from tear gas in Tijuana on Sunday

U.S. Border Patrol helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents held vigil on foot beyond the wire fence in California

U.S. Border Patrol helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents held vigil on foot beyond the wire fence in California

U.S. agents shot the gas, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene. Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem

U.S. agents shot the gas, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene. Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem

A migrant, with his face covered, runs from tear gas thrown by the U.S Border Patrol agents

A migrant, with his face covered, runs from tear gas thrown by the U.S Border Patrol agents

The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings have been suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities

The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings have been suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities

Earlier Sunday, several hundred Central American migrants pushed past a blockade of Mexican police who were standing guard near the international border crossing

Earlier Sunday, several hundred Central American migrants pushed past a blockade of Mexican police who were standing guard near the international border crossing

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum on Friday declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million, which he says is struggling to accommodate the crush of migrants

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum on Friday declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million, which he says is struggling to accommodate the crush of migrants

Three Honduran migrants huddle in the riverbank amid tear gas fired by U.S. agents on the Mexico-U.S. border 

Three Honduran migrants huddle in the riverbank amid tear gas fired by U.S. agents on the Mexico-U.S. border 

More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan

More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan

Mexico also vowed to deport about 500 migrants who tried to ‘violently’ and ‘illegally’ cross the U.S. border on Sunday, according to the Mexican Interior Ministry in a statement.

The statement added that Mexican authorities had contained the protest at the crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.

'Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego,' Customs and Border Protection tweeted on Sunday

‘Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego,’ Customs and Border Protection tweeted on Sunday

Nielsen also repeated the accusation, though provided no evidence to support it

Nielsen also repeated the accusation, though provided no evidence to support it

Despite heightened tensions there, Mexico said they would not send military forces to control 7,417 migrants from a caravan currently amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, 23, said she saw migrants open a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them.

‘We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,’ she told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.

Mexico’s Milenio TV also showed images of several migrants at the border trying to jump over the fence. 

Yards away on the U.S. side, shoppers streamed in and out of an outlet mall.

U.S. Border Patrol helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents held vigil on foot beyond the wire fence in California. 

‘Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego,’ Customs and Border Protection tweeted on Sunday. 

‘Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety. 

‘Several agents were hit by the projectiles. The situation is evolving and a statement is forthcoming.’ 

The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings have been suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities.

All northbound and southbound traffic was halted.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted on Sunday: ‘It is critical that U.S. and Mexican federal leaders work together to safely resolve the migrant crisis. 

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted on Sunday: 'It is critical that U.S. and Mexican federal leaders work together to safely resolve the migrant crisis'

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted on Sunday: ‘It is critical that U.S. and Mexican federal leaders work together to safely resolve the migrant crisis’

‘Our way of life relies on a safe, secure and functioning border. 

‘From travel to shipping to daily commutes between San Diego and Tijuana, it is essential to our community.’ 

Earlier Sunday, several hundred Central American migrants pushed past a blockade of Mexican police who were standing guard near the international border crossing.

They appeared to easily pass through without using violence, and some of the migrants called on each other to remain peaceful.

They convened the demonstration to try to pressure the U.S. to hear their asylum claims and carried hand-painted American and Honduran flags while chanting: ‘We are not criminals! We are international workers!’

A second line of Mexican police carrying plastic riot shields stood guard outside a Mexican customs and immigration plaza.    

Mexican police scramble to form a blockade as they try to stop migrants from reaching the border with the US

Mexican police scramble to form a blockade as they try to stop migrants from reaching the border with the US

American Customs and Border Protection officers form a barrier behind rows of barbed wire to stop the migrants entering

American Customs and Border Protection officers form a barrier behind rows of barbed wire to stop the migrants entering

Members of the migrant caravan run for cover after US officers fired tear gas at them during clashes at the border

Members of the migrant caravan run for cover after US officers fired tear gas at them during clashes at the border

People attempting to cross in the U.S. look on as the San Ysidro port of entry stands closed at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday

People attempting to cross in the U.S. look on as the San Ysidro port of entry stands closed at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday

Officials run in a staging area in the San Ysidro port of entry on Sunday

Officials run in a staging area in the San Ysidro port of entry on Sunday

Mexico's Federal Police officers are seen through the smoke of tear gas thrown by the US Border Patrol to disperse Central American migrants

Mexico’s Federal Police officers are seen through the smoke of tear gas thrown by the US Border Patrol to disperse Central American migrants

Migrants try to push past Mexican police on the Mexico-U.S. border at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana on Sunday

Migrants try to push past Mexican police on the Mexico-U.S. border at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana on Sunday

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run to cross Tijuana river near the border wall

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run to cross Tijuana river near the border wall

Police cars form a roadblock across the San Ysidro border crossing after it was completely closed to all traffic

Police cars form a roadblock across the San Ysidro border crossing after it was completely closed to all traffic

People trying to cross into America from Mexico through legal checkpoints wait by their cars after the border was shut

People trying to cross into America from Mexico through legal checkpoints wait by their cars after the border was shut

Pedestrians trying to cross into the US at the San Ysidro port of entry wait for it to be reopened following clashes

Pedestrians trying to cross into the US at the San Ysidro port of entry wait for it to be reopened following clashes

Central American migrants yell through the border wall as they are confronted by an American Border Patrol Agent

Central American migrants yell through the border wall as they are confronted by an American Border Patrol Agent

A Honduran migrant speaks to US guards after tear gas and rubber bullets were used to repel some who tried to cross

A Honduran migrant speaks to US guards after tear gas and rubber bullets were used to repel some who tried to cross

American border agents handcuff a migrant who tried to cross into the country illegally on Sunday

American border agents handcuff a migrant who tried to cross into the country illegally on Sunday

A migrant is seen holding rocks in his hands moments before throwing them at US border guards near Tijuana

A migrant is seen holding rocks in his hands moments before throwing them at US border guards near Tijuana

Migrant families, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America, look to cross the border into the United States

Migrant families, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America, look to cross the border into the United States

A balaclava-clad man covers his face after tear gas was used to repel an attempted border crossing from Mexico to the US

A balaclava-clad man covers his face after tear gas was used to repel an attempted border crossing from Mexico to the US

That line of police had installed tall steel panels behind them outside the Chaparral crossing on the Mexican side of the border.

Migrants were asked by police to turn back toward Mexico.

More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan. 

Many hope to apply for asylum in the U.S., but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.

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 U.S. border was to make the migrants’ plight more visible to the governments of Mexico and the U.S.

‘We can’t have all these people here,’ Mujica told The Associated Press.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum on Friday declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million, which he says is struggling to accommodate the crush of migrants.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday to express his displeasure with the caravans in Mexico.

‘Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer),’ he wrote.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since Oct. 19. It said that 1,906 of them were members of the recent caravans.

Mexico is on track to send a total of around 100,000 Central Americans back home by the end of this year. 

Earlier on Sunday, Nielsen tweetedSunday: ‘This AM, @CBP was forced to close the #SanYsidro POE to ensure public safety in response to a large # of migrants seeking to illegally enter the US.

‘They attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border & sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles @ them.

‘@DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness & will not hesitate to shut down POEs for security reasons.

‘We’ll seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our sovereignty.

‘#CBP along w other DHS, federal, state & local law enforcement, & the @DeptofDefense, have a robust presence along the SW Border and at our POEs. We remain in close contact with Mexican authorities and are committed to resolving this situation safely in concert with them.’ 

In a later tweet, she condemned members of the caravan throwing objects at border personnel. She wrote:  ‘Today CBP (Customs and Border Protection) personnel were struck by projectiles thrown by caravan members. 

‘Such actions are dangerous & not consistent w peacefully seeking asylum. The perpetrators will be prosecuted. I will continue to aggressively support DHS personnel as they work to safely secure our border.’

Migrants cross the river at the Mexico-U.S. border after pushing past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana on Sunday

Migrants cross the river at the Mexico-U.S. border after pushing past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana on Sunday

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers walks along a wall at the border between Mexico and the United States, as seen from San Diego

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers walks along a wall at the border between Mexico and the United States, as seen from San Diego

A migrant waves a Honduran flag as U.S. border patrol agents stand guard, seen at left through the fence

A migrant waves a Honduran flag as U.S. border patrol agents stand guard, seen at left through the fence

Migrants peer through the border wall after pushing past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana

Migrants peer through the border wall after pushing past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana

A person walks at the San Diego Outlets mall that sits near the U.S.- Mexico border wall in San Diego

A person walks at the San Diego Outlets mall that sits near the U.S.- Mexico border wall in San Diego

Migrants move up a riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing

Migrants move up a riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing

U.S. border agents stand guard a the Mexico-U.S. border after migrants pushed past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing

U.S. border agents stand guard a the Mexico-U.S. border after migrants pushed past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing

The shadows of migrants are cast on the railroad tracks at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana

The shadows of migrants are cast on the railroad tracks at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana

A Central American migrant wrapped in a US flag looks at the almost dry riverbed of the Tijuana River near the El Chaparral border

A Central American migrant wrapped in a US flag looks at the almost dry riverbed of the Tijuana River near the El Chaparral border

An official walks along the empty lanes of Interstate 5, where it reaches the San Ysidro port of entry, after closing the port Sunday

An official walks along the empty lanes of Interstate 5, where it reaches the San Ysidro port of entry, after closing the port Sunday

The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city

The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city

A large group of migrants gather in Tijuana to try to cross the El Chaparral border crossing on Sunday

A large group of migrants gather in Tijuana to try to cross the El Chaparral border crossing on Sunday

Mexico's Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since Oct. 19. It said that 1,906 of them were members of the recent caravans

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since Oct. 19. It said that 1,906 of them were members of the recent caravans

Mexico is on track to send a total of around 100,000 Central Americans back home by the end of this year

Mexico is on track to send a total of around 100,000 Central Americans back home by the end of this year

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 U.S. border was to make the migrants' plight more visible to the governments of Mexico and the U.S.

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 U.S. border was to make the migrants’ plight more visible to the governments of Mexico and the U.S.

Many hope to apply for asylum in the U.S., but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day

Many hope to apply for asylum in the U.S., but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day

On Friday night, a mother-of-two was impaled after she tried to scale a US-Mexico border fence in San Diego.

According to US Border Patrol, the 26-year-old woman from Guatemala was with her two children, aged three and five, when she climbed the fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that she climbed a fence east of the port and where construction crews were putting up a new barrier to replace the old fencing.

The mother lost her balance and fell, and pieces of rebar pierced her side and buttocks.

FULL TEXT OF STATEMENT BY HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY KIRSTJEN NIELSEN ON BORDER CHAOS

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is seen above speaking to reporters at Bordersfield State Park in San Ysidro, California on Tuesday

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is seen above speaking to reporters at Bordersfield State Park in San Ysidro, California on Tuesday

This morning, CBP was forced to close the San Ysidro Port of Entry to ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. 

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. 

As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons. 

We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty. 

CBP, along with other DHS law enforcement, federal law enforcement, the U.S. military and state and local law enforcement, will continue to have a robust presence along the Southwest Border and at our ports of entry to prevent illegal entry or violence. 

We continue to stay in close contact with Mexican authorities and we remain committed to resolving this situation safely in concert with our Mexican partners. 

Border Patrol told the Union-Tribune that it was dispatched to give medical aid around 8.30pm and asked for help from the San Diego Fire Department.

The woman was taken to the hospital by paramedics with non-life threatening injuries.

Her children were also evaluated for trauma and, when they were cleared, were released to the custody of Border Patrol.

No information was available on whether the woman was planning to claim asylum in the US.

Border Patrol Agent Eduardo Olmos told City News Service that the woman told agents she was not part of the migrant caravan that arrived in Tijuana last week.

‘Entering our country illegally, particularly over our walls is not only dangerous, but also very foolish,’ San Diego’s Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said on Saturday.

President Donald Trump on Sunday warned Mexico it ‘would be very smart’ if the country stopped migrant caravans ‘long before’ they get to the U.S. border

Their denial surfaced less than an hour after Trump tweeted that migrants wouldn’t be allowed to cross into the United States while they were applying for asylum. He also threatened to close the border ‘if necessary’ following years of abuse

Marchers gather in San Diego to protest in support of the migrant caravan and against Trump's policy of shutting them out

Marchers gather in San Diego to protest in support of the migrant caravan and against Trump’s policy of shutting them out

Hundreds of marchers in San Diego demand that the migrants be allowed to enter America during a protest on Sunday

Hundreds of marchers in San Diego demand that the migrants be allowed to enter America during a protest on Sunday

People march in support of the migrant caravan, near the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday in San Diego

People march in support of the migrant caravan, near the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday in San Diego

‘This woman placed her own life and her children’s lives in peril. She could have easily died if not for the quick response by our agents and EMS.’

Officials say the rebar was part of ongoing construction and not related to the US military’s recent mission to fortify the fence from the caravan. 

Trump on Sunday continued to comment on the hot-button topic of his administration’s immigration policy.

The President reacted to a 60 Minutes segment which found that the family separation policy, in which migrant children were detained separately from their parents, was implemented earlier and in greater numbers than was originally acknowledged. 

Trump claimed that the family separation policy was initially implemented by the Obama administration, though this is incorrect.

’60 Minutes did a phony story about child separation when they know we had the exact same policy as the Obama Administration,’ the President tweeted. 

Trump on Sunday continued to comment on the hot-button topic of his administration's immigration policy

Trump on Sunday continued to comment on the hot-button topic of his administration’s immigration policy

‘In fact a picture of children in jails was used by other Fake Media to show how bad (cruel) we are, but it was in 2014 during O years. 

‘Obama separated children from parents, as did Bush etc., because that is the policy and law. 

‘I tried to keep them together but the problem is, when you do that, vast numbers of additional people storm the Border. 

‘So with Obama seperation is fine, but with Trump it’s not. Fake 60 Minutes!’

The President reacted to a 60 Minutes segment about the controversial family separation policy

The President reacted to a 60 Minutes segment about the controversial family separation policy

 On Saturday, Trump claimed on his Twitter account that he and the incoming Mexican government agreed to a hold asylum seekers south of the border while their claims were processed in U.S. courts.

Trump tweeted on Saturday: ‘Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court. 

‘We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No “Releasing” into the U.S…

‘All will stay in Mexico. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. 

‘There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!’ 

Trump’s tweet comes after Mexican officials said there was ‘no agreement of any type’ between its Government and the United States that will require asylum seekers to wait in the country while their claims move through U.S. courts. 

Olga Sanchez Cordero, the top domestic policy official for president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who takes office on December 1, ruled out that Mexico would be declared a ‘safe third country’ for asylum claimants.

This followed a Washington Post report of a deal with the Trump administration known as ‘Remain in Mexico,’ which quoted her calling it a ‘short-term solution.’

The plan, according to the newspaper, foresees migrants staying in Mexico while their asylum claims in the United States are being processed, potentially ending a system President Donald Trump decries as ‘catch and release’ that has until now often allowed those seeking refuge to wait on safer US soil.

Their denial surfaced less than an hour after Trump tweeted that migrants wouldn’t be allowed to cross into the United States while they were applying for asylum. He also threatened to close the border ‘if necessary’ following years of abuse.

Meanwhile an investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that the political violence in Honduras, which has contributed to an exodus of migrants, was sometimes carried out with US made weapons used by the government’s paramilitary force.

The Honduran military police should not possess US-made rifles sold under private arms licensing agreements, according to the State Department.

Alejandra Martínez, who is now part of the migrant caravan, was targeted by a gang in Honduras who opened fire on him and a group of his friends.

‘We know that the guns come from the United States,” Martínez told the Miami Herald at the time of the bloodshed.

‘These guns have no business in Honduras. They should stay in the United States. They are sending them to Honduras to kill us’.

More than a dozen people were shot and killed by the military police in the post-election violence, including several children, according to United Nations investigators.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum (left) has criticized Donald Trump (right) for threatening to close the border entirely if ‘it gets to a level where we are going to lose control’

Reports emerged that Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorhad agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a 'short-term solution' while the US considered their applications for asylum but they were dismissed earlier today 

Reports emerged that Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorhad agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a ‘short-term solution’ while the US considered their applications for asylum but they were dismissed earlier today 

More than 30 were wounded by the paramilitary unit, a repressive force that answers directly to the Honduran president.  

The migrant caravan that left Honduras in mid-October was mostly well received by the towns it passed through along the way to the border.

Even cities with few resources made sure the migrants had food and a place to rest.

But in those places, the caravan stayed at most two nights with the exception of Mexico City.

In Tijuana, many of the migrants who are fleeing violence and poverty are seeking asylum in the United States and face the prospect of spending months in the border city before they have the opportunity to speak with a US official.

Gastelum said Friday that the Mexican government has talked about sending 20 tons of resources to Tijuana to help but that three-fourths consisted of materials to reinforce the border and only 5 tons were for the migrants.

The mayor also criticized the federal government for not taking more seriously Trump’s threat Thursday to shut down the border if his administration determined Mexico had lost ‘control’ of the situation in Tijuana. 

‘That’s serious’, he said.