Migrant Caravan Tear-gassed at Border

Grace Anne McKenna, Editor in Chief

Over 5,000 migrants from Central America came to a halt when they encountered a police blockade and tear gas at the United States-Mexican border, November 25. The group of men, women, and children fled their home countries to escape poverty, violence, and oppression.

The episode took place in Tijuana, Mexico near the border that leads into San Diego. Hundreds of migrants ran towards the border into a police blockade. As a result, the United States Customs and Border Protection agency shut down the border, preventing access into both Mexico and the United States. The border reopened that evening.

Tear gas was the root of mass controversy. The gas was released as the crowd rushed the border, provoking harsh opinions around the nation as pictures circulated. Many pictures depicted migrants carrying children in their arms as the gas filled the air.

President Trump has targeted this caravan for weeks, especially during the midterm elections. Anti-immigration has become a staple of Trump’s administration and The New York Times predicts that the president will use this incident as evidence to further qualify his stance. The day of the incident, Trump posted on Twitter: “Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form.”

While American soldiers were stationed at the border, the US military was not associated with this event.

The backlog of migrants requesting asylum at a checkpoint has become a major source of frustration and motivation for most of the people who rushed the border. More than 5,000 people sought shelter at a sports center in Tijuana. Meanwhile, Tijuana officials claim that funding is not available to improve the center which has a maximum capacity of 3,500. Thousands of migrants will remain in Tijuana and wait for their opportunity to enter the country. They will not return to their homelands.