Mexico to up security at border after migrants try to cross

MEXICO-HONDURAS-US-MIGRATION

Tijuana declares 'humanitarian crisis' seeks help from UN

More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan. "Once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing, we had two or three agents at a time initially, facing hundreds of people at a time, they deployed tear gas to protect themselves and to protect the border".

The group of migrants continued toward the border.

Junior, a migrant from Honduras, waves the American flag while standing with other migrants at the US-Mexico border fence.

Children screamed and coughed in the mayhem of the tear gas.

Many hope to apply for asylum in the USA, but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.

On Monday morning President Trump tweeted that numerous migrants are "stone cold criminals", and threatened to close the border permanently.

As they marched, Customs and Border Protection closed the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry between Tijuana and San Diego. "The vast majority of people we're dealing with are adult males".

President Trump threatened Monday to close the southern border "permanently" unless Mexico sends asylum-seekers - many of whom he described as "stone cold criminals" - back to where they came from.

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Lurbin Sarmiento, 26, of Copan, Honduras, walked back to the sports complex with her 4-year-old daughter shaken from what had unfolded a short time earlier at the Tijuana River and USA border.

But Mexico's incoming government, which assumes power December 1, denied that it is willing to let USA asylum-seekers stay there pending the outcome of their cases in US immigration courts, which could take years.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that USA authorities will continue to have a "robust" presence along the Southwest border and that they will prosecute anyone who damages federal property or violates US sovereignty.

"We can't have all these people here", Mujica said. "We want to see if they'll give us permission to go to the USA", she said.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum on Friday declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million, which he says is struggling to accommodate the crush of migrants. Democrats and even some lawmakers in Trump's own party have resisted his calls to fund his proposed border wall.

Earlier Sunday, Gastelum said he will not allow bilateral relations to be broken by bad actions of the migrant caravan.

The Trump administration has demanded that Mexico agree to host migrants who apply for asylum in the United States at the southern border as they wait for their hearing before an immigration judge in the United States.

On Sunday, hundreds of caravan members, including women and children, were peacefully protesting when they were stopped by Mexican authorities, who told them to wait for permission. President Enrique Pena Nieto offered thousands of Central Americans asylum on October 26 if they agreed to remain in southern Mexico.

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