Trump urges Mexico to send migrants home; 42 arrested

Trump urges Mexico to send migrants home; 42 arrested

Trump urges Mexico to send migrants home; 42 arrested

Around 1,000 Central American migrants held an initially peaceful rally in Tijuana, on the border with the USA, on Sunday.

Mexican police run as they try to keep migrants from getting past the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, near San Ysidro, California.

"As the events unfolded, quick, decisive and effective action prevented an extremely risky situation", he said.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said border agents' use of tear gas on caravan migrants trying to breach the U.S. -Mexico border was the "appropriate level of action".

President Donald Trump said on Monday that the tear gas was "very safe". But Sunday's action affected only the San Ysidro crossing and the US forces appeared limited to Customs and Border Protection officers and Department of Homeland Security police, backed by San Diego police and the California Highway Patrol.

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said the administration's concerns about the caravan "were borne out and on fully display" Sunday.

The scene was reminiscent of the 1980s and early 1990s when large groups of migrants rushed vehicle lanes at San Ysidro and overwhelmed Border Patrol agents in nearby streets and fields.

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. The officers are trained to use tear gas for crowd control, The New York Times reported.

A migrant family from Honduras runs from tear gas released by U.S. border patrol near the fence between Mexico and the United States in Tijuana
Image A migrant family runs from tear gas released by US border patrol

"Mexico should move the flag waving migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries", he wrote.

Mr Trump has said the migrants should not easily enter the country and he threatened again to shut down the US-Mexico border, which stretches 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometres).

A group of migrants climbed a fence as they tried to reach the US-Mexico border. Others continued to approach the border and were repelled by more tear gas.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended her agency's use of tear gas, saying that the migrants threw "projectiles" at U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. Democrats and even some lawmakers in Trump's own party have resisted his calls to fund his proposed border wall.

Mexico has been in negotiations with the United States over a possible plan to keep migrants in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed. In response, the shielded, helmeted agents fired separating Triple-Chaser tear gas grenades at masses of people that contained many women and children.

Alyssa Milano, Kathy Griffin, and Rosie O'Donnell slammed President Trump after Sunday's border clash. He also described CBP as having responded with use of force to primarily adult males throwing rocks.

Meanwhile, the office of Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum said on Sunday that as many as 39 members of the caravan had been arrested over causing riots, disrupting the public and assaulting citizens, "among other causes".

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