Donald Trump Threatens to Close US Border With Mexico "Permanently"

Central American migrants are stopped by Mexican police forces as they reach the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana Baja California State Mexico

Many of the thousands who have gathered in Tijuana have said they will wait until they can seek asylum

Forty two people were arrested after a group of migrants in Tijuana, the Mexican city, broke away from a peaceful protest and ran towards the border fencing on Sunday.

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

U.S. Border Patrol agents fired tear gas at migrants seeking entry at the southwest border, claiming the migrants were throwing rocks and bottles.

Carla L. Provost, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, told Fox News on November 26 that agents used tear gas to defend themselves.

"[CBP] effectively managed an extremely risky situation involving over 1,000 individuals who sought to enter the USA unlawfully in large groups".

A group of Central American migrants- mostly from Honduras- get over a fence as they try to reach the US-Mexico border
A group of migrants climbed a fence as they tried to reach the US-Mexico border

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his displeasure with the group of migrants who traveled through Mexico to the border.

Mexican authorities intervened, prompting a rush toward the border by some people, before U.S. agents fired tear gas. On the east side, some pulled back a panel of fencing made of Army surplus steel landing mats to create an opening of about 4 feet, through which a group of more than 30 people crossed, according to a USA official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

And US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said last night that Customs and Border Protection officers "were struck by projectiles thrown by caravan members" and "perpetrators will be prosecuted".

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.

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

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He has been pushing his administration to do more to enforce border security, an issue he touted in the recent midterm election. There are approximately 5,900 active-duty troops and 2,100 National Guard forces deployed to the U.S. -Mexico border.

On Monday, Trump tweeted the caravan at the border included "stone cold criminals".

Trump previously indicated that the "whole" of the U.S. southern border may close, should the Mexican government not be able to get control of the migrant caravan situation.

Numerous migrants say they are fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras in search of asylum north of the border.

Mexico has been in negotiations with the United States over a possible scheme to keep migrants in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said the throngs of migrants who have descended on his city is tantamount to a humanitarian crisis, and he declared an emergency.

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The incident left many migrants feeling they had lost whatever possibility they might have had for making asylum cases. The military's role is limited largely to erecting barriers along the border and providing transportation and logistical support to Customs and Border Protection.

Around 500 men, women and children, part of a caravan of roughly 5,000 mainly Hondurans who have been trekking towards the U.S. for weeks, scrambled over a rusted metal fence and surged into a concrete riverbed towards San Diego on Sunday. "Congress, fund the WALL!"

USA authorities needed to "minimize the level of force that is being used", he added.

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