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U.S. closes entry point between San Diego and Tijuana as migrant caravan approaches, tear gas reportedly fired into crowd


A group of migrants broached the police perimeter on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro entry point between Tijuana and San Diego. (Ramon Espinosa / AP)

U.S. agents have shot tear gas at migrants approaching the border from Mexico, according to a report.

Just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Border Patrol agents launched tear gas across the border, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office earlier shut down the border between San Diego and Tijuana to both vehicle and foot traffic Sunday as the first group from the migrant caravan reached their target.

"Due to the multiple planned demonstrations on both sides of the border, CBP deployed additional personnel to the San Ysidro port of entry on Sunday," the agency said.

"The additional personnel, which included CBP officers, US Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine agents, were recently deployed to the San Diego area from various areas around the country in preparation for the potential arrival of the caravan in Tijuana."

The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry is the busiest in the western hemisphere, according to the U.S. General Services Administration, processing about 70,000 northbound vehicles and 20,000 northbound pedestrians daily.

About 20 migrant rights and social justice groups collected on the U.S. side of the border to protest President Trump’s immigration policies, according to NBC San Diego.

Migrants waiting to cross were being held in Tijuana, where the mayor declared a humanitarian crisis Friday, citing about 5,000 people camping inside a sports complex.

"Because of the absence, the apathy and the abandonment of the federal government, we are having to turn to international institutions like the U.N.," Manuel Figueroa, who leads the city's social services department, told NBC San Diego.

In a departure from current protocol, Trump and incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador have agreed to hold asylum-seekers out of the United States while their applications are pending.

“Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “We only will allow those who come into our Country legally. Other than that our very strong policy is Catch and Detain. No ’Releasing’ into the U.S. All will stay in Mexico. If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!”