Mexico to up security at border after migrants try to cross

Forty-two people were arrested on suspicion of illegally crossing the U.S. -Mexico border after members of the migrant caravan in Tijuana marched toward the border and prompted a five-hour shutdown at the San Ysidro crossing, a Border Patrol official said Monday. Now, Trump has responded to the whole ordeal.

While arguing Monday that the use of tear gas on hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers near the US border the previous day was justified, a Fox News commentator asserted: "It's natural".

Mexico is pledging to shore up security near its border with the United States after local authorities arrested 39 migrants following a peaceful march that devolved into chaos.

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USA officials reopened the crossing at the San Ysidro port of entry between the U.S. city of San Diego and the Mexican city of Tijuana on Sunday after closing it for several hours.

"We were told that if we crossed (the first barrier) they would give us asylum, because we were already in the United States", said Flor Jimenez, a 32-year-old Honduran woman who was among those who turned back along with her husband, sister and young daughter.

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.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said the throngs of migrants who have descended on his city is tantamount to a humanitarian crisis, and he declared an emergency.

On Sunday, the situation at the border devolved after a large group marched to the US border to appeal for the speed processing of asylum claims for Central American migrants marooned in Tijuana.

"We can't have all these people here", Mujica said.

Around 500 men, women and children, part of a caravan of roughly 5,000 mainly Hondurans who have been trekking towards the USA for weeks, scrambled over a rusted metal fence and surged into a concrete riverbed towards San Diego on Sunday.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday to express his displeasure with the caravans in Mexico. "Congress, fund the WALL!" he said in a statement on November 26. Others continued to approach the border and were repelled by more tear gas. Many hope to apply for asylum in the USA, but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.

The tweet comes as 42 migrants were arrested on the U.S. side of the Mexico border, according to a San Diego Sector Border Patrol official.

Rodney Scott, chief US Border Patrol agent in San Diego, said the vast majority of those assembled at the border were economic migrants who would not qualify for asylum, adding there were few women and children. McAleenan said he was not aware of any successful illegal entries by caravan members into the US. Asylum applications jumped 35 percent between fiscal year 2016 and 2017, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was driven in part by a surge in applications from people fleeing violence in Central America and Mexico.

  • Joey Payne