U.S. border officials decided to reopen the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana after migrants tried to cross the border.
According to a report by ABC News, the entry port at San Ysidro — situated north of Tijuana and south of San Diego — had earlier been closed since about 11:30 a.m. Sunday but the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reopened the border at about 6 p.m. local time.
In a statement, U.S. border patrol said that thousands of migrants from Central America are waiting in Tijuana and surrounding areas to enter the United States and seek asylum.
As the Inquisitr earlier reported, U.S. agents fired tear gas to disperse a group of migrants who managed to work a piece of the concertina wire open and tried to force their way into the country through the hole they made. In a statement released by the Border Patrol, tear gas was used to stop migrants who tried to “illegally enter the U.S.”
According to statements issued by CBP and Mexico’s Interior Ministry, there were no reports of injuries when tear gas was fired.
The statement further detailed that some demonstrators on the Mexico side of the border divided themselves into various groups and headed towards “multiple locations along the border,” adding that some migrants tried to enter the U.S. in “areas directly east and west” of the border crossing.
Reuters photos show migrants fleeing tear gas at U.S.-Mexico border. pic.twitter.com/ET7QyW5JHS
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) November 25, 2018
Per CBP, some migrants also tried to breach the fence between the borders of the two countries through the northbound and southbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry. Authorities, however, stopped the attempted breach and the migrants were “turned back to Mexico,” the report said.
The agency further added that as migrants continued their attempts to “illegally enter the U.S., CBP agents responded to them.”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 26, 2018
Commenting on the situation, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, said in a statement that authorities closed the border to “ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally,” and added that migrants threw “projectiles and rocks” at CBP agents.
“As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons. We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty.”
Border Patrol had also deployed additional agents to the border to prepare for the “multiple planned demonstrations,” the agency said in the statement. The border was closed so that authorities could prepare for the “possibility that additional groups would also break off from demonstrations for a possible attempt or attempts to rush illegally through the port of entry.”