The San Ysidro Port of Entry between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California, was temporarily closed on Sunday following protests from migrants who reportedly pushed past a blockade of Mexican federal police to seek entry into the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times.
On Twitter, Customs and Border Protection San Diego wrote that northbound and southbound vehicle traffic, as well as pedestrian crossings, were suspended.
The Mexican federal police have shut down the border into Mexico – hundreds of riot police are lined up and no incoming cars are being allowed to enter from the US into Mexico pic.twitter.com/cNY0MZktAZ
— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 25, 2018
The Associated Press reports that Border Patrol agents later fired tear gas on a group of migrants gathered near the port of entry after a few tried to breach a fence between the two countries. Ana Zuniga, a 23-year-old migrant from Honduras with a three-year-old daughter, told the AP that she saw some migrants open a hole in concertina wire, and then US border agents fired the tear gas. “We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” she said.
US Border Patrol has just launched tear gas into Mexico. Breeze carrying it hundreds of yards. Parents running away with choking toddlers. #migrantcaravan
— Chris Sherman (@chrisshermanAP) November 25, 2018
More than 4,700 Central American migrants, many of them members of the migrant caravan who hope to seek asylum in the United States, have been living in a crammed sports complex in Tijuana while they wait to cross the border. CBP, however, is processing fewer than 100 asylum claims per day, and the Trump administration is attempting to force asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their claims are processed.
The march toward the US border on Sunday was meant to bring attention to the plight of the migrants, Irineo Mujica, from the aid group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, told the AP. “We can’t have all these people here,” he said.
Migrants carried handmade signs and chanted, “We are not criminals! We are international workers!”