News & Politics

Here They Come: Migrants Rush Border Near San Diego

A migrant woman helps carry a handmade U.S. flag up the riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as a group of migrants tries to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A group of about 500 migrants from Central America rushed the border crossing at the San Ysidro port of entry near San Diego, overwhelming Mexican police who tried to stop them and causing the U.S. to close the busy border crossing.

The migrants threw rocks at U.S. Border Patrol agents, forcing them to use tear gas on the crowd, which included dozens of children. The children were “screaming and coughing in the mayhem,” according to Fox News.

The migrants could be heard shouting “yes we can,” which was former president Barack Obama’s mantra.

Fox News:

Trump administration officials have characterized the vast majority of asylum claims as fraudulent or legally insufficient, and have taken steps to reduce the backlog of asylum claims that they say are often used by migrants to gain entry into the U.S. and disappear into the country as their claims are adjudicated.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy would go a long way toward preventing that from happening. And while it appeared yesterday that the U.S. and Mexico had made a deal that would have seen the migrants staying in Mexico until their asylum requests had been processed, the new Mexican administration denied today that an agreement had been reached.

Early Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter that it would be “very SMART” for Mexico to “stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border” to avoid future logistics challenges at the border.

There were signs last week that the Mexican government has received that message. Mexican immigration agents on Wednesday detained almost all of the Central American migrants on a fourth caravan that recently entered Mexico seeking to reach the U.S., with Mexico’s National Immigration Institute saying 213 migrants were detained and taken to a processing center. Those found to lack proper documents may face repatriation to their home countries.

This is the nightmare that’s developing along our southern border. Wave after wave of caravans, all streaming toward the U.S. with no end in sight. It would be like a slow-motion Mariel boatlift.

Trump threatened Thursday, and again on Saturday, to shut down the border crossing entirely if his administration determines that Mexico has lost “control” of the situation in Tijuana.

Stephanie Leutert, director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin, described the Remain in Mexico plan as a strategy to take away the ability of migrants to live and work in the U.S. while cases are processed.

“The hope is that asylum seekers will not want to live in [Mexico] for months/years and won’t come,” Leutert wrote on Twitter.

She added: “The big question is why would Mexico agree to this? … Mexico has its own migratory enforcement interests and the various caravans have been a huge headache.”

U.S. officials have said for months that they were working with Mexico on possible proposals. One variation, called “Safe Third,” would have denied asylum claims on the grounds that asylum seekers had found haven in Mexico. President Enrique Pena Nieto offered thousands of Central Americans asylum on Oct. 26 if they agreed to remain in southern Mexico. Close to 3,000 migrants took Mexico up on the offer.

Sanchez said Saturday that the next government does not plan for Mexico to become a “Safe Third” country.

Mexico doesn’t want to take care of this horde any more than the U.S. does.

The time for kid gloves is over for both Mexico and the U.S. It’s time to get tough. Yes, there are a lot of kids in the caravans, but both Mexico and the U.S. cannot afford this situation to get out of control, as it apparently is now. Making it absolutely clear that the migrants will not be allowed into the U.S. while their asylum requests are being processed, allowing them to disappear as their cases are being considered, is something that has to be done, for the sake of both the migrants and the U.S. and Mexico.