Donald Trump says he will close the Mexico border permanently if needed

Geneva Stokes
November 27, 2018

United States authorities shot tear gas at hundreds of migrants who attempted to storm the U.S. border on Sunday.

Over the weekend, violent clashes occurred as the United States attempted to stem the flow of people crossing into the country.

On Sunday, the United States temporarily shut down the San Ysidro border crossing, a Port of Entry between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California, after hundreds of Central American migrants were bombarded with tear gas and, according to multiple reports, rubber bullets, fired by US border authorities, according to BuzzFeed News.

Other footage shows Border Patrol agents firing tear gas canisters at migrants who were trying to storm the border.

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

President Donald Trump said on Monday that the tear gas was "very safe". Mexico's Interior Department said about 500 migrants were involved in the attempt to rush the border, while US authorities put the number at 1,000.

Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott told CNN "numerous" people had made it across the border on Sunday, adding that most of those who were detained were men.

US Customs and Border Protection officers "were struck by projectiles thrown by caravan members" and "perpetrators will be prosecuted", US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Twitter.

The migrants involved in Sunday's incident were a fraction of a caravan of more than 5,000 that is now stuck in limbo in Tijuana.

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Schatz also reportedly sent but eventually deleted a tweet asking if tear gas was "consistent with the Conventions on Chemical Weapons"?

President Trump threatened to shut the 2,000-mile (3,200km) US-Mexico border down once more this morning. That would be a significant shift in asylum policy that could keep Central Americans in Mexico for more than a year.

'And once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing - you know we had two or three agents at a time facing hundreds of people at a time - they deployed tear gas to protect themselves and protect the border'. "Congress, fund the WALL!"

Geoffrey Hoffman, a professor and director of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic, which represents migrants applying for asylum, said the government would use it to push the argument that the migrants should remain in Mexico.

He also accused people who are coordinating the caravan of intentionally displaying women and children to "pull the heartstrings of America", and said the media is playing along.

An average of 70,000 vehicles and 20,000 pedestrians cross from Mexico to the United States at San Ysidro each day, according to the U.S. General Services Administration. Under US and worldwide law, an unauthorized crossing is not grounds to block someone from claiming asylum; neither does it change limits on the appropriate use of force.

The migrants, mostly Hondurans, have travelled to the border in large groups, or caravans and now number more than 8,000.

According to the Times, the border crossing reopened Sunday night.

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