Migrants and Police Clash at San Ysidro Border Crossing

Patrick Kissel, Reporter

During an attempt to cross the border, tear gas was fired at a group of migrants who were part of one of the most recent caravans to come from Central America to seek asylum.

On November 25, a group of around 500 migrants rushed a police barrier at the San Ysidro point of entry. Tear gas was used on the group, including women and children, to disperse them. According to US Customs and Border Protection, migrants were throwing projectiles that struck several agents.

“Why should we let people into the country that aren’t coming in through the legal system come here,” freshman Evan Brown said.

According to CNN, 42 migrants were arrested in the melee, though none will face charges. Two were charged for attempting to cross the border, though the charges were later dropped by the Department of Justice. The current status of the 42 arrested is still unclear. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said that seven arrested were women, along with a few children and 27 men according to CNN.

“It’s not illegal to look for asylum … so the use of tear gas is definitely too extreme,” freshman Olivia Murray said.

After these clashes, President Donald Trump threatened to close the entire US-Mexico border temporarily, and did close the San Ysidro border crossing after the arrival of the caravan, though reopened it hours after the clash at the border. It was the closing of the border that sparked the conflict at the crossing, according to CNN.

“I think it’s not fair … he shouldn’t have done that, it’s not right,” freshman Titilayo Osambiro said.

By closing the ports of entry, it would be impossible for migrants to seek asylum through the legal process. The process, which includes going to a legal port of entry to apply for asylum, is a process that former and current members of the Trump administration including the President have argued for in the past.

As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry,” Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted in June.