Mexico to up security at border after migrants try to cross

United States Marines fortify concertina wire along the San Ysidro Port of Entry border crossing as seen from Tijuana

United States Marines fortify concertina wire along the San Ysidro Port of Entry border crossing as seen from Tijuana

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.

"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.

President Trump threatened Monday to close the southern border "permanently" unless Mexico sends asylum-seekers - many of whom he described as "stone cold criminals" - back to where they came from. "Congress, fund the WALL!" the United States president tweeted on Monday.

Mexican and US authorities are pledging to prosecute those engaging in violence at the border, after a peaceful march in protest of long asylum processing times Sunday ended with a group of migrants breaking off and trying to cross and USA border patrol agents responding with tear gas.

Pedestrians prepare to enter the USA at the San Ysidro port of entry.

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After clashes near the official port of entry yesterday, it was quickly closed in both directions by border agents, an unusual move at the end of a busy holiday weekend.

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". The migrants have also received a mixed reception from their current hosts in Mexico.

Mexican authorities said 39 migrants were arrested yesterday, and said they plan to deport those who tried to enter the US illegally.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection has defended its decision to use tear gas, claiming that some migrants with the group had thrown projectiles across the border, hitting several agents. Mexican authorities said they would deport anyone who tried to cross illegally. Most of the migrants in the group were men.

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Thousands of migrants began arriving in Tijuana about 10 days ago and have been housed since then in squalid conditions in a community sports center that has been converted into a makeshift shelter. San Ysidro is the busiest USA land crossing, and authorities there now process about 100 asylum seekers per day.

"As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons", Nielsen said.

Border crossings in Otay Mesa and Tecate remained open.

The prospective deal between the USA and Mexico was seen as a way to dissuade thousands of Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the us, a process that can take years.

On Saturday, Trump said the migrants would not be allowed into the United States until a court approves their asylum claim, which would break from existing policy allowing asylum seekers to remain in the US until an immigration judge hears their case.

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Mexico's Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since October 19, when the first caravan entered the country. "There were many children who fainted".

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