The border crisis took a dramatic turn on Sunday after hundreds of migrants “rushed” the U.S. border, and caravan members scuffled with border guards on the Mexico side of the crossing.
In an incident that the Associated Press called a “show of force,” cameras caught migrants rushing the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which is south of San Diego.
“Central American migrants, mostly men, tried to breach the border crossing … after pushing past a blockade of Mexican police standing guard near the international border crossing,” the AP explained.
“U.S. Border Patrol helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents held vigil on foot beyond the wire fence in California,” the report continued. Portions of the border were also completely shut down by U.S. officials as the event unfolded.
“Pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro port of entry are also suspended at both the East and West facility,” CBP San Diego posted from their official Twitter account.
Pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro port of entry are also suspended at both the East and West facility.
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) November 25, 2018
After some of the surging migrants began hurling rocks at border officials, U.S. authorities responded with non-lethal measures.
“U.S. agents fire tear gas at migrants after some try to breach fence separating U.S. and Mexico,” the AP confirmed on Twitter.
BREAKING: U.S. agents fire tear gas at migrants after some try to breach fence separating U.S. and Mexico
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 25, 2018
Countless videos posted on social media showed the border incident from different angles, and confirmed that some of the crowd had used mob-like tactics including throwing large rocks at anybody in their way.
Here’s moment right before shot bang. You can see some rocks being thrown. pic.twitter.com/p0M9p7Rx4G
— WendyFry (@WendyFry_) November 25, 2018
This latest border clash came after Tijuana’s authorities arrested over 100 migrants who participated in the caravans streaming from Central America through Mexico.
“The mayor of Tijuana, Juan Manuel Gastélum, declared a humanitarian crisis in the city in the face of the extraordinary situation that is experienced by the arrival of thousands of migrants,” El Sol newspaper reported earlier this week.
“The fact (is) that these migrants, who have problems of addictions, who are using drugs on the public highway … become highly vulnerable to recruitment by local delinquency to turn them into drug dealers and possible victims of crime,” the paper also stated.
If Sunday is any sign, this crisis may continue to escalate for some time. As caravan members expecting to be granted entry into the United States and Mexican residents in Tijuana all become increasingly frustrated, the San Ysidro border could become a powder keg.