USA arrests 32 at San Diego border protest


Numerous deportees were sent home last month after their attempt to rush the border was met with a volley of tear gas from U.S. border patrol, who shut down the crossing for several hours.

Singing and praying, religious leaders moved forward in lines of four to six, some wearing T-shirts reading, "Love Knows No Borders".

More than 400 people, many leaders of churches, mosques, synagogues and indigenous communities, took part in the protest at San Diego´s Border Field State Park, which borders Tijuana, Mexico, according to the AFSC.

Border Patrol spokesman Eduardo Olmos said 31 people were arrested for trespassing by the Federal Protective Service at Monday's demonstration and one was arrested by the Border Patrol for assaulting an agent.

The rally also was to show support for a caravan of Central American asylum seekers.

About 300 people participated in the demonstration organized by the American Friends Service Committee. Border Patrol agents came upon the group and placed them in custody about two miles north of the Mexican border. They were handcuffed and led away by federal agents upon entering a restricted area in front of the fence.

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Thousands of migrants are living in crowded shelters and encampments in Tijuana after traveling from Central America to escape poverty and violence.

The migrant caravans have shrunk significantly, from close to 7,000 people who arrived in Tijuana a month ago seeking entry into the US. Many face waiting weeks or months in Mexico while they apply for asylum.

"Secretary Nielsen has made clear that being a member of a caravan does not give them special rights for entry into this country and now it looks like some of these migrants understand that the Trump administration's commitment to enforcing the rule of law, and their own likely lack of a legitimate claim of asylum, means they should return home", the spokeswoman said.

The group also is calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. The port now allows between 40 and 100 asylum seekers through per day, a pace the group says violates both American and global law mandating immediate processing, and puts migrants at risk.

The letter from the second group of migrants read, "In the meantime, families, women and children who have fled our countries continue to suffer and the civil society of Tijuana continue to be forced to confront this humanitarian crisis, a refugee crisis caused in great part by decades of USA intervention in Central America".

Despite tough new immigration policies imposed by the Trump administration, the United States is still the top pick by far for migrants seeking a new home, according to a new report.