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Invasion Begins: Caravan Migrants Storm US Border, Throwing Rocks at Authorities

US Border Patrol defends breach with rubber bullets, tear gas, as crossing shut down

 on 26th November 2018 @ 12.00pm
invasion begins  caravan migrants storm us border  throwing rocks at authorities © press

President Trump has been forced to shut down the crossing point between the US and Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry after hundreds of caravan migrants attempted to violently storm the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she would not put up with this "lawlessness" as American authorities were forced to defend the border breach with rubber bullets and tear gas at the crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.

Mexican officials attempted to use crowd control on Sunday afternoon but were overwhelmed when the huge mobs of migrants rushed at authorities, breaching their defenses.

Massive crowds of mostly-male Central American migrants tried to cut a hole in the concertina wire gap on the Mexican side, before tearing down a fence and pouring through the gap while throwing rocks at US forces defending the invasion.


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caravan migrants tore down a border fence as they threw rocks at us officials © press
Caravan migrants tore down a border fence as they threw rocks at US officials

According to the Daily Mail, the tensions prompted US officials to close the crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, stopping thousands of people traveling legitimately between the US and Mexico.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she would not put up with this "lawlessness" and threatened harsh punishments for "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."

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.

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 a 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. 

"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.

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.

us forces rush to defend the border from invasion by caravan migrants © press
US forces rush to defend the border from invasion by caravan 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.

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 tweeted: "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."

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