USA closes Mexican border crossing, repels some migrants with tear gas

Many of the migrants are women and children. But according to President Trump keeps talking about how he believes the migrants are stone cold criminals

Many of the migrants are women and children. But President Trump is tweeting about them being"stone cold criminals. Mario Tama Getty Images

As the caravan of Central American migrants made their way to the San Ysidro port between San Diego and Tijuana on Sunday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers tried stopping people from rushing the border.

It is reported that thousands of migrants attempted to "rush" the border barriers before they were beaten back by U.S. border patrol agents.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer posted a tweet Sunday night urging US and Mexican officials to resolve the situation without closing the border.

The San Ysidro border post across from Tijuana - the busiest crossing on the US-Mexico border - was closed to traffic and pedestrians for several hours following the incident.

For weeks before the 6 November congressional elections, Trump raised the alarm about the migrant caravans and ordered some 5,800 USA troops to the border to support border patrol agents.

"It doesn't matter what port you go to, where you're at, we're are already resting at 2,000 people a day ..." Mexico's Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

Forty two people were arrested after a group of migrants in Tijuana, the Mexican city, broke away from a peaceful protest and ran towards the border fencing on Sunday.

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Mexico, for its part, has deployed riot police to maintain calm, as well as implemented measures to stop migrants walking near to the border area.

Most of the 5,000 refugees living in the Tijuana camp hail from Honduras, where rampant gang violence had led to one of the world's highest murder rates.

Most recently, Trump reiterated his threat to close the entire southern border "if need be" - while telling Congress once again to "fund the WALL!".

After the clashes in Tijuana over the weekend, freelance reporter David Agren noted, "These difficulties in Tijuana were predictable weeks ago, but the caravan pushed onward to the border anyway-and those accompanying it discouraged migrants from accepting Mexican offers to temporary work visas or asylum".

The migrants, who are fleeing poverty and violence, have said they would wait there until they could request asylum, despite growing USA measures to tighten the border. As they reached a bridge and stairway that leads to a square near the USA border, they were stopped by Mexican authorities, who told them to wait for permission. There can be no disagreement when it comes to firing tear gas on innocent families.

Democrats and other critics called the Trump administration's use of tear gas toward the migrants an overreaction and blamed the administration for rejecting efforts to address larger immigration issues. Their presence has drawn Mexican troops, protesters and fiery rhetoric from President Donald Trump and Mexican officials. Many hope to apply for asylum in the US, but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day. Arriving at the border, some chanted, "We are not criminals!"

Associated Press writer Amy Guthrie contributed to this story from Mexico City.

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