Trump threatens to close US-Mexico border 'permanently'
Drama has unfolded on the U.S.-Mexico border this week as migrants traveled to protest officials to move faster with legal asylum requests.
San Ysidro Port of Entry, supposedly the busiest of the border checkpoints, was closed to crossings on Sunday, Customs and Border Protection officials announced.
As per the Indepdendent, a peaceful march conducted by migrants from Central America descended into chaos on Sunday. It has been reported that when they were denied entry to the 'border safe space' in which they are legally allowed to make their requests, some took more desperate measures to make their claim.
However, it seems that these demonstrations and the actions of the few have had the opposite effect, if Donald Trump's claims are to be believed.
“Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump tweeted, without the evidence to back up the "criminal" comment. “Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A," he continued. "We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!”
In addition to this, Trump claimed that their policies, which led to many migrant children being forcibly separated from their families, were the same policies held up by previous presidents - a claim that was later allegedly shown to be false.
Near the border, when some of the migrants attempted to move towards the fence, U.S. agents are said to have shot tear gas at the crowds, with the barrage meeting families and young children, while border patrol agents claimed their efforts were to dispel the group due to "the risk to agents' safety".
“We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” 23-year-old Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, who was holding her three-year-old daughter at the time, told the Associated Press.
According to the Mexican Interior Ministry, hundreds of the migrants involved will now be deported, while they also insisted they would reinforce the border. Tijuana police said that they arrested 39 people in connection with an attempt to cross the border illegally, but it was the images of children screaming and coughing as the US agents launched tear gas that caught the world's attention.
Some even chimed in to add that the use of tear gas was illegal under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
In reaction to the humanitarian crisis, the mayor of Tijuana called on the Mexican government to provide assistance to the crowds. "The people of Tijuana will not pay for the stay of these migrants. I will not send Tijuana into debt, just like I have been able to avoid the last two years," he said in a Facebook post earlier this week.
"We are dealing with a humanitarian crisis and the federal government must step up to its responsibility," he added. Following his statements, the government issued a statement declaring that they were requesting help from the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.