On Sunday, it was widely reported that nearly 500 members of the migrant caravan charged the U.S.-Mexico border fence between Tijuana and San Diego. The Border Patrol resisted, shutting down the attempt by the migrants to forcefully cross.
The exchange was all but expected and President Trump has spent the last few months ramping up military forces stationed at the border. The military personnel reinforced the border and constructed new barriers preventing migrants from illegally crossing.
It seems the new barriers and defensive structures were enough to prevent the first clash of migrant members.
But, these same 500 or so members who rushed the border may not be getting a second chance after President Trump called specifically for their deportation.
“Mexico should move the flag-waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump said, adding that he did not care how Mexico was to accomplish it, but he wanted these members deported.
“Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A.”
The U.S. president also said he would consider “permanently” closing the southern border “if need be.”
And, in a message directed to the U.S. Congress, Trump said: “fund the WALL!”
Mexico wants these migrants gone as well and immediately began the deportation process for these individuals, the Washington Examiner reports.
From the report:
The Mexican government announced Sunday evening that it will deport nearly 500 migrants who rushed the U.S. border between Tijuana and San Diego, Calif.
In a statement, Mexico’s interior department said these migrants were captured with the help of local authorities of the government from the state of Baja California and will be deported after attempting to cross the border “violently” and “illegally.”
Videos and photos of the migrants, including children, crossing a footbridge over a canal in Tijuana as they headed to the border were posted to social media. The incident prompted both the U.S. and Mexico to shut down the port of entry on their respective sides.
Fox News reports Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said, in a statement, some migrants “attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them.”
“As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons,” Nielsen continued in the statement. “We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty.”
Some of the migrants were successful in scaling the first of two border fences, BBC reports. As a result, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents fired tear gas onto the invading group:
Mexican Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete said the migrants had asked for help to organise the demonstration but were then reportedly encouraged by some of the movement’s leaders to split into different groups so they could make a run for the border and try to cross into the US.
The march started peacefully with migrants carrying pro-immigration banners and shouting: “We aren’t criminals! We are hard workers!”.
But once they managed to get past the security cordon, the march quickly turned into a dash for the border, BBC correspondent Will Grant reports.
Several hundred managed to climb over the first barrier, according to Agence France-Press news agency. It was as they tried to cross a second, spike-topped wall that officials on the US side began firing tear gas.