Migrant caravan members reconsider asylum claims after border clash

Kim Kyung-Hoon  Reuters

"Does this not strike you as excessive?" "Or we can continue to ignore those countries and their people until they show up at our border".

US Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan said in a conference call with reporters that 69 migrants were arrested the previous day on the California side of the border. He said he still hoped to cross to the United States and work, but conceded it could be more hard now.

O'Rourke, recognizing hardships that have propelled many migrants to seek asylum, urged that the people be given the opportunity to plead their cases in a timely manner, as long as it is done so peacefully. She estimated about 20 people had already passed in front of her, and parents begged agents not to unleash the gas because there were young children present.

Sunday's melee closed one of the world's busiest worldwide crossings, San Ysidro Port of Entry, near San Diego, to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for several hours.

Hundreds of migrants rushed the southern United States border in California on November 25, while chucking projectiles at Border Patrol agents. Some migrants would hurl large rocks at agents to distract them as groups crossed the border.

USA officials closed the border crossing at San Ysidro for several hours at the end of last week.

"Yesterday our agents were being assaulted".

Martinez, 28, said she was now considering getting work in Tijuana.

Rodney S. Scott, chief patrol agent for the San Diego sector, also told CNN that USA officials arrested 42 people, mostly adult males, who made it into the United States.

Mexico after being hit by tear gas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after attempting to illegally cross the border wall into the United States in Tijuana Mexico Nov.25 2018
Adrees Latif Reuters

Another agent, Elley Taylor, was driving a vehicle when a large rock struck the hood of the auto.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Customs and Border Patrol agents were struck by objects thrown by members of the group. "We'll have a better picture of that in the near future". "In diapers. Choking on tear gas", he tweeted.

Tear gas, a type of a riot control agent, is considered a chemical weapon if used as a method of warfare, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention. But they were pushed back by tear gas launched by United States officers as they tried to cross a second wall.

He said that it was a "very unsafe situation" for agents and they responded appropriately.

"If we had that, we wouldn't be in this situation where we needed the military to come in and help us", said Cabrera.

Hundreds of people - including women and children - had been protesting and chanting "we aren't criminals!" Many pointed to the children left gagging from the gas attack as evidence that Trump's push against a caravan of asylum seekers from Central America had gone too far.

Another Honduran who gave his name as Wilmer said "they started throwing tear gas and they hit a journalist in the head".

Francisco Vega, the governor of Baja California, said nearly 9,000 migrants were in the state - mainly in Tijuana, with a lesser number in Mexicali - and called it "an issue of national security".



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