U.S. Closes Tijuana Border Entry as Migrants Protest

United States Customs and Border Protection has reportedly shut down the Tijuana border crossing, as migrants stuck on the southern side of the border have clashed with both Mexican police and U.S. immigration agents out of frustration with a backlog in processing asylum claims. According to the Associated Press, U.S. agents sprayed protesting migrants with tear gas after more than 1,000 people, primarily men, but also women and children‚ stormed past police officers in hopes of crossing the Tijuana River into the United States. The San Diego office of U.S. Border Patrol tweeted that pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro Port of Entry have been suspended. Vehicular traffic in both directions has halted. The facility is one of the busiest border crossings in the world, with 20,000 northbound pedestrians entering the United States every day, primarily for work. More than 5,000 migrants, primarily from Central America, have taken up residence at a nearby sports complex after arriving in Tijuana as part of a larger caravan of migrants. The Trump administration’s immigration policies regarding asylum seekers, which have sought to severely limit the eligibility of would-be asylees while also creating a bottleneck at ports of entry, has led to migrants living on bridges as they wait for a chance to claim asylum at valid ports of entry. President Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the border altogether if the migrant situation does not improve.