US border agents fire tear gas at migrants along border


U.S. border agents began spraying tear gas at migrants attempting to breach a southern border crossing on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

The Central American migrants were seeking to come through a border crossing between Tijuana and California, according to an AP reporter at the scene.

The incident happened shortly after the U.S. suspended pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro port of entry, one of the busiest entry points between the U.S. and Mexico.

Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.

The migrants attempting to enter the country on Sunday are members of the so-called migrant caravan that has seized headlines in recent weeks, as reports emerged that the group consisted of thousands of Central American migrants heading toward the U.S.-Mexico border by foot. Most of the migrants are fleeing rampant violence and poverty in their home countries.

The AP reported that the breeze carried the tear gas from border agents "hundreds of yards."

Some members of the caravan crossed the Tijuana River earlier on Sunday, heading toward the border.

The Trump administration has seized on the caravan as it made its way toward the U.S. across Mexico in recent weeks. The White House requested the deployment of thousands of troops at the border and signed a proclamation that would prevent some of its members from claiming asylum.

President Trump has threatened to shut down the border completely if Mexico does not hold the migrants while the U.S. processes their asylum claims.

"Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer),” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Trump ahead of the midterm elections publicly lashed out at the caravan, referring to the group as an "invasion" and insinuating that terrorists might be traveling with the group. There are more than 5,000 military personnel at the border awaiting the caravan's arrival.

Critics claim Trump has invoked the caravan to stoke anti-immigrant and xenophobic fears, particularly ahead of Election Day.

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