US closes Mexican border crossing, repels some migrants with tear gas

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Other photos and video show migrants huddling and protecting their faces after the tear gas firings. At least one man was wounded.

Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodney Scott of the San Diego area defended the use of tear gas, telling CNN that migrants were throwing rocks or debris at officers.

Geoffrey Hoffman, a professor and director of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic, which represents migrants applying for asylum, said the government would use it to push the argument that the migrants should remain in Mexico.

Critics, including Latin American leaders, immigrant-rights advocates and congressional Democrats, have said use of tear gas is "un-American".

Numerous migrants have been in the camp for more than two weeks.

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

"We were deluded into believing that we had already reached the United States, and that they would grant us asylum", Colon told AFP.

Trump went further saying Mexico should send the Central Americans, mostly Hondurans, back home.

"Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries", Trump tweeted.

"We never thought they were going to fire these bombs where there were children, because there were lots of children", said Meza, sitting in view of the rusted-steel USA border fence.

An Associated Press reporter saw US agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. "Congress, fund the WALL!".

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US President Donald Trump has taken a hard stance against the migrants, insisting his controversial policy of building a wall was still the best way to deal with the issue.

The violence began when a group of migrants broke away from the protesters and attempted to cross the border.

The sudden rush overwhelmed Mexican police, who were deployed with large clear shields and full riot gear.

Last week Trump gave Defense Secretary Jim Mattis explicit authority to use military troops to protect Customs and Border Protection agents on the border, with lethal force if necessary.

Sunday's confrontation at the border occurred where there is already a physical barrier.

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"Do you know if they are going to deport us?" asked Melanie Murillo Hernandez, a university student from Honduras who is pregnant and seeking a better life for her child.

Border Patrol agents say 42 migrants are under arrest after the migrant caravan attempted to force their way across the USA border.

Mothers clutched their young children close as they fled for safety.

Shortly after Ms Meza arrived she was confronted by a blocked of Mexican police, who shot tear canisters in range of children and teenagers. A person got hit and lots of kids fainted.

The incident lasted almost two hours, with two groups of migrants tear gassed after they crossed the Tijuana River, eventually returning to a stadium where they've camped for days, waiting for the opportunity to apply for asylum. "They grab a child because they think they're going to have a certain status by having a child", he said.

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