Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Busiest U.S.-Mexico border crossing reopens after violent clashes

Tijuana declares 'humanitarian crisis' seeks help from UN Migrant woman hurt after being impaled while trying to climb over border
Gerardo Duncan | 27 November, 2018, 05:26

Scores of Central American migrants were seen dispersing in Tijuana, Mexico, after US federal officials fired tear gas at the US-Mexico border on Sunday, November 25.

Our chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay and his team have been on the front line of the migrants' struggle to make it across.

Currently, 5,000 migrants are in a camp in Tijuana while the Trump administration is urging the Mexican government to keep them from the border.

The migrants' arrival has been met by some opposition from people in Tijuana, where many shelters were already at capacity, and on the US side of the border by increased security measures that include members of the military deployed there by President Donald Trump.

Authorities on the USA side used tear gas to disperse the would-be crossers, the journalists told CNN. 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. Trump has vowed to shut down the southern border with lethal force if necessary, and is calling on Mexico to intervene. Mexican authorities said they would deport anyone who tried to cross illegally.

The Tijuana government said officers arrested 39 people.

Throughout the day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents on foot watched beyond the wire fence in California.

The San Ysidro crossing is a large complex with multiple lanes of vehicle and pedestrian access points.

US officials have said for months that they were working with Mexico to find solutions for what they have called a border crisis.

President Trump threatened Monday to close the southern border "permanently" unless Mexico sends asylum-seekers - many of whom he described as "stone cold criminals" - back to where they came from.

"There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the US government", future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said in a statement.

Groups of Central American migrants have been converging on the Mexican border city for days in their quest to gain entry to the United States. "Congress, fund the WALL!" Many have become increasingly desperate with the realization of the obstacles still before them in reaching the United States.

USA authorities closed the San Ysidro crossing to vehicle traffic in both directions as well as pedestrians for several hours before fully reopening late Sunday.

Hours earlier, The Washington Post had quoted her as saying that the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a "short-term solution", a plan dubbed "Remain in Mexico".

Mexico doesn't want the migrants any more than the USA does.

Mexico's Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since October 19, when the first caravan entered the country.

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