US Agents Just Fired Tear Gas on Migrants Near the San Diego-Tijuana Border

“We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more.”

Three Honduran migrants huddle in the riverbank amid tear gas fired by US agents on the Mexico-US border.Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press

The San Ysidro Port of Entry between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California, was temporarily closed on Sunday following protests from migrants who reportedly pushed past a blockade of Mexican federal police to seek entry into the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On Twitter, Customs and Border Protection San Diego wrote that northbound and southbound vehicle traffic, as well as pedestrian crossings, were suspended.

The Associated Press reports that Border Patrol agents later fired tear gas on a group of migrants gathered near the port of entry after a few tried to breach a fence between the two countries. Ana Zuniga, a 23-year-old migrant from Honduras with a three-year-old daughter, told the AP that she saw some migrants open a hole in concertina wire, and then US border agents fired the tear gas. “We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” she said.

More than 4,700 Central American migrants, many of them members of the migrant caravan who hope to seek asylum in the United States, have been living in a crammed sports complex in Tijuana while they wait to cross the border. CBP, however, is processing fewer than 100 asylum claims per day, and the Trump administration is attempting to force asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their claims are processed.

The march toward the US border on Sunday was meant to bring attention to the plight of the migrants, Irineo Mujica, from the aid group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, told the AP. “We can’t have all these people here,” he said.

Migrants carried handmade signs and chanted, “We are not criminals! We are international workers!”