Migrants arrested after scuffle at border
TIJUA NA, Mexico — Mexico looked set to shore up security near its border with the U. S. on Monday, and local authorities said that 39 migrants were arrested after a peaceful march devolved into mayhem when U. S. agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop some migrants who tried to breach the international line.
Mexico’s Interior Ministry said it would immediately deport those who tried to “violently” enter the U. S. from Tijuana. 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.
On Sunday, the situation at the border devolved after a large group marched to the U. S. border to appeal for the U. S. to speed processing of asylum claims for Central American migrants marooned in Tijuana.
There, some attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries, leading U. S. agents to fire tear gas.
American authorities also shut down the nation’s busiest border crossing at San Ysidro for several hours at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Lurbin Sarmiento, 26, of Copan, Honduras, said she had been with her four- year- old daughter at a concrete riverbed, which had a trickle of water from the Tijuana River, when U. S. agents fired the gas.
“We ran, but the smoke always reached us and my daughter was choking,” Sarmiento said, visibly shaken.
She said she never would have gotten that close with her daughter if she thought there would be tear gas.
Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of metres away.
On Monday, U. S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the caravans in Mexico and to make another pitch for his promised border wall.
Trump has repeatedly suggested without evidence that the migrant caravans are full of hardened criminals, but they are mostly poor people with few belongings who are fleeing gang violence. During his presidential campaign, he promised he’d have Mexico pay for a wall.