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'DHS Will Not Tolerate This Type of Lawlessness': Tear Gas Showdown as Hundreds Try to Breach US Border

11-26-2018
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Tensions boiled over at the US-Mexico border Sunday, with Border Patrol agents firing tear gas into a group of nearly 500 migrant protesters attempting to force their way through fencing and into the US. 

The news comes after immigrant groups pushed pass Mexican police blockades and made their way across the Tijuana River and towards the border.

"After being prevented from entering the Port of Entry, some of these migrants attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP (US Customs and Border Protection) personnel by throwing projectiles at them," Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement. 

"As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons," she warned.

The weekend border clash saw some women and children caught in the crossfire. "Young children fainted. My daughter also got gassed," one migrant woman told reporters.

It's a situation weeks in the making as thousands of migrants traveling north from Central America finally reached the US border, settling in Tijuana, Mexico.  

The US closed the port of entry there in both directions for a time Sunday as they processed thousands of claims from migrants for asylum.

President Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the border completely. "We will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control…the whole border. I mean the whole border," he told reporters.

Meanwhile, Trump is also signaling his willingness to allow for a partial government shutdown until Congress gives up the money needed for the border wall – something some GOP senators want to avoid.

"I do not want to see the government shut down," Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said. "If we can avoid that situation we absolutely need to do that. I know that (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell is working very hard to make sure we get funding." 

Some Democrats say they've tried – albeit unsuccessfully – to talk with the president, but they're still willing to negotiate.

"We tried to negotiate on the Dreamers, and that was led by reasonable Republicans Mike Rounds, a senator from South Dakota, and Johnny Isakson, the senator from Georgia," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told ABC's, George Stephanopoulos.

"I was in that group, a small group of us that were working to find a way out with border money as well as making sure that we protected the Dreamers, something a vast majority of Americans supported," she continued.

"So of course, we're willing to talk about this. But if he wants to just keep playing politics with it, instead of getting it done, we aren't going to be able to get it done," the Minnesota lawmaker charged.
  
Meanwhile, the mayor of Tijuana is requesting aid from the United Nations to help deal with the nearly 5,000 migrants gathered in shelters in his city, calling the situation a "humanitarian crisis." 

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