Trump threatens to permanently close Mexico border

Trump threatens to permanently close Mexico border
Central American migrants run near US-Mexico border, after the US border patrol threw tear gas from the distance to disperse them. (AFP)
Washington, Nov 26 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/26/2018 12:01:51 PM IST

Donald Trump has threatened to close the border between Mexico and the US “permanently” unless Mexico sends asylum-seekers — many of whom he described as “stone cold criminals” — back to where they came from.

“Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the USA,” the US President said in a tweet.

“We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!” he added.

Mr Trump’s latest threat to seal off the border comes a day after US Border Patrol agents fired tear gas at Central American migrants who tried to storm through a border fence at the San Ysidro crossing that links San Diego with Tijuana, Mexico, reports the New York Post.

Authorities temporarily closed the port of entry “to ensure public safety” after some of the migrants threw “projectiles” at agents as they bore down on the fence, officials said.

“Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety,” the agency said on Twitter.

On Sunday, Mexico promised to shore up security along the border and the country’s Interior Ministry said it would immediately deport those who tried to “violently” enter the US from Tijuana. More than three dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges after the chaotic scene Sunday. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said US authorities will continue to have a “robust” presence along the Southwest border and that anyone who damages federal property or violates American sovereignty would be prosecuted. “DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons,” she said.

More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after arriving via caravan in hopes of applying for asylum in the US.

Mr Trump also took to Twitter on the weekend to express his displeasure with the caravans.

“Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer),” he wrote.

“Dems created this problem. No crossings!”

Mexico to up security at border

It comes as Mexico pledged to shore up security near its border with the United States and local authorities said that 39 migrants were arrested after a peaceful march devolved into chaos when US agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop some migrants who tried to breach the border.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said it would immediately deport those who tried to “violently” enter the US from Tijuana.

Meanwhile, Tijuana’s municipal government said that more than three-dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges stemming from the march and what followed.

The vast majority of the more than 5000 Central American migrants camped out for more than a week at a sports complex in Tijuana returned to their makeshift shelter to line up for food and recuperate from an unsettling afternoon.

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