Mexico has pledged to enhance its security near the US border after 39 migrants were arrested out of hundreds of Central Americans who "violently" tried to enter the US following a peaceful protest to appeal for faster processing of asylum requests. US agents fired tier gas into the Tijuana river aqueduct to try and stop some of the migrants making the push.
Approximately 500 migrants will immediately be deported after the attempted border crossing, according to Mexico's interior ministry, while the more than three-dozen arrested migrants were detained for disturbing the peace and other charges.
Following the incident, most of the 5,000-plus migrants who have been camped out at a Tijuana sports arena for over a week returned to their shelter to rest and wait in line for food.
As the situation spiraled out of control on Sunday, US authorities closed all traffic through the San Ysidro port - the nation's busiest land crossing, while agents deployed tear gas. Over 100,000 people enter the US daily via the port.
The gas reached hundreds of migrants protesting near the border after some of them attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries. American authorities shut down the nation's busiest border crossing at San Ysidro for several hours at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.
The situation devolved after the group began a peaceful march to appeal for the U.S. to speed processing of asylum claims for Central American migrants marooned in Tijuana.
Mexican police had kept them from walking over a bridge leading to the Mexican port of entry, but the migrants pushed past officers to walk across the Tijuana River below the bridge. More police carrying plastic riot shields were on the other side, but migrants walked along the river to an area where only an earthen levee and concertina wire separated them from U.S. Border Patrol agents. -ABC
The use of the gas has sparked a debate of its own between the left - which has decried its use on women and their children who were put in harm's way when they made a run for the border, and the right - which has noted that the gas was non-lethal and justifiable.
Silly unhinged hyperbole by Molly and other lefties.— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) November 26, 2018
Border Patrol agents used non-lethal tear gas to stop illegals from pelting them with rocks and illegally crossing our border.
A legal, justifiable, and textbook escalation and use of non-lethal force by law enforcement. https://t.co/xsNb5Afi7u
cc: Everyone on the left:https://t.co/0JlLLqHFGJ— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) November 26, 2018
US Customs and Border Protection helicopters were spotted hovering overhead throughtout Sunday, while DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that US authorities will maintain a "robust" presence along the Southwestborder and will prosecute anyone found to have damaged federal property or who violates US sovereignty.
"DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons," said Nielsen.
President Trump on Monday threatened to close the border permanently if needed, tweeting that Mexico should move "stone-cold criminal" migrants back to their home countries. "do it by plane, do it by bus, do it any way you want but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A!," Trump tweeted, adding ""we will close the border permanently if need be" before demanding that Congress "fund the WALL."
Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2018