TIJUANA, Mexico — A peaceable march by Central American migrants ready on the southwestern United States border veered uncontrolled on Sunday afternoon, as tons of of individuals tried to evade a Mexican police blockade and run towards an enormous border crossing that leads into San Diego.
In response, the USA Customs and Border Safety company shut down the border crossing in each instructions and fired tear gasoline to push again migrants from the border fence.
Quickly after the migrants started their midmorning march to the border in Tijuana, Mexico, they have been met by Mexican federal cops at a bridge that results in the San Ysidro border crossing, via which tens of millions of individuals and automobiles move annually. At that time, lots of the marchers bypassed the police by operating throughout a dry riverbed.
The police, carrying anti-riot shields, then shaped a brand new line and appeared to comprise the push of migrants 100 yards or extra from the crossing. They erected steel limitations on the roads and sidewalks resulting in the principle border crossing for vehicles and vehicles.
A smaller group of migrants then tried to make their approach to a practice border crossing just a few tons of away, the place they have been stopped by tear gasoline launched by United States Customs and Border Safety officers.
After the gasoline had cleared, Mexican federal cops then pushed again the protesters from the world of the practice crossing.
Customs and Border Safety officers additionally launched tear gasoline at a separate level just a few hundred yards away to drive again the migrants.
A few of the migrants instructed The New York Occasions they thought they might negotiate with United States officers, however as they approached the steel border fence topped with barbed wire, they have been met with a number of rounds of tear gasoline. A number of males tried to climb the wall however fell again within the face of the gasoline.
On Twitter, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, wrote that the “tear gasoline throughout the border towards unarmed households is a brand new low.”
Mexico’s inside ministry mentioned that 500 folks have been concerned within the march on Sunday, a fraction of the overall quantity within the caravan, and that those that had attacked federal police can be deported. Municipal officers mentioned that 39 folks had been arrested.
The unrest in Tijuana comes amid broader discussions about easy methods to take care of the rising variety of migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America who’re amassed at crossing factors in Tijuana and elsewhere alongside the border.
Mexico inaugurates a brand new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, subsequent Saturday, and prime cupboard officers in his incoming authorities had deliberate to satisfy on Sunday to debate attainable options for coping with the inhabitants, together with doubtlessly permitting migrants making use of for asylum in the USA to remain in Mexico whereas they’re being processed.
The Trump administration has demanded that Mexico comply with host migrants who apply for asylum in the USA on the southern border as they wait for his or her listening to earlier than an immigration choose in the USA. The wait can final months and even years, throughout which period many migrants are launched and allowed to work below guidelines that President Trump has vowed to vary.
However the assembly of the incoming administration officers in Mexico Metropolis to debate a response was derailed by the chaotic occasions alongside the San Ysidro border crossing. The main focus of the assembly instantly shifted to the day’s disaster, and the political implications it might need for the therapy of migrants and the anti-migrant sentiment it’d incite in Mexico.
Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday that it “Can be very SMART if Mexico would cease the Caravans lengthy earlier than they get to our Southern Border, or if originating international locations wouldn’t allow them to kind.”
Hundreds of migrants started arriving in Tijuana about 10 days in the past and have been housed since then in squalid circumstances in a neighborhood sports activities middle that has been transformed right into a makeshift shelter. Many have change into more and more determined with the conclusion of the obstacles nonetheless earlier than them in reaching the USA.
Tijuana metropolis officers say they haven’t any cash to enhance circumstances on the sports activities middle, the place greater than 5,000 migrants are sheltering in an area with capability for not more than 3,500.
Fani Caballero, 32, a migrant from Honduras, sat by the practice tracks, close by of United States brokers on the opposite facet of the border fence. Her daughter, Cristina, 7, cried as Customs and Border Safety helicopters circled overhead.
“Individuals had thought that they have been going to open the gates, however that was a lie,” Ms. Caballero mentioned. “We thought it could be simpler.”
She had signed up for an interview with a United States asylum officer, step one within the asylum utility course of — however the surge of migrants with the caravan meant she can be ready for weeks.
“Now, I suppose I’ll simply wait my flip, as a result of I can’t return to my nation,” she mentioned.
As she acquired prepared within the morning to affix the march, Marta Alicia Martinez Padilla, 26, was requested what she hoped to perform by going to the border. “We wish to see in the event that they’ll give us permission to go to the U.S.,” she mentioned. “That’s our objective, and we’ve been asking God to deliver us there.”