‘We Will Close the Border Permanently if Need Be’

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A peaceful march in Tijuana devolved into chaos on Sunday when USA border agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop some of the hundreds of migrants and refugees who tried to breach the border.

Central American migrants leave the shelter in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, to get to the El Chaparral border crossing close to the Mexico-US border. Most of the migrants in the group were men.

"However, the border crossings that people stormed while trying to illegally enter the United States will be reinforced", the ministry said.

After starting in Honduras and traveling across Mexico, the first members of the caravan began arriving in Tijuana about two weeks ago.

Those who tried to "violently" and "illegally" enter the USA would be deported immediately, the Mexican interior ministry said on Sunday.

After the gas had cleared, Mexican federal police officers then pushed back the protesters from the area of the train crossing.

Children screamed and coughed in the mayhem of the tear gas.

After running to relative safety a few hundred feet away, hundreds of the caravan members held a sit-in.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said it is critical for leaders on both sides of the border to work together to "safely resolve the migrant crisis".

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Irineo Mujica, who has accompanied the migrants for weeks as part of the aid group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said the aim of Sunday's march toward the US border was to make the migrants' plight more visible to the governments of Mexico and the U.S.

Trump signed a proclamation earlier this month to prevent anyone filing asylum claims except at legal ports of entry, but a federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the order, pointing to "irreconcilable conflicts" with immigration law.

Hours earlier, The Washington Post quoted her as saying that the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a "short-term solution" while the US considered their applications for asylum.

Amnesty International said what happened Sunday was predictable after Trump ordered the troops to the border and said he told them that if a migrant throws a rock, "consider it a rifle". The migrants in that episode also reportedly threw rocks and bottles at USA authorities.

As they marched, Customs and Border Protection closed the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry between Tijuana and San Diego.

"There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the USA government", future Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said in a statement. Every day more than 100,000 people enter the USA there.

Honduran Ana Zuniga, 23, also said she saw migrants opening a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point USA agents fired tear gas at them.

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

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