Mexican authorities deported 100 foreign nationals on Monday, following clashes on Sunday between Mexican police and people trying to cross into the United States at the San Ysidro entry point. Members of the so-called migrant caravan threw rocks at Mexican law enforcement officer and also hurled rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents. A number of members of both U.S. and Mexican law enforcement agencies were injured. 

On Sunday, the border was closed at the San Ysidro, which is one of the busiest land ports of entry in the world. U.S. officials closed the border because of the threat of migrants seeking to climb over or breach the barrier and enter the U.S. President Donald Trump has sent approximately 5,800 active-duty troops to the border region to bolster U.S. immigration authorities and border security. Trump tweeted late last week that he has given the troops authorization to defend themselves and the Border Patrol. Many of the migrants are seeking  asylum in the U.S. and are receiving counseling from the United Nations, pro-immigration groups, and U.S. lawyers on how to apply.

The clash between approximately 500 people and U.S. customs agents ended when tear gas was fired at members of the group who were charging toward the border near San Ysidro, California. Many of the migrants complain that the asylum application process is too lengthy.

Mexico has reinforced barriers along the border and has brought reinforcements in the form of additional federal police and military to support police in Tijuana. Last week, Mexican immigration authorities arrested more than 600 Central American migrants in the southern state of Chiapas, which borders the neighboring Republic of Guatemala and through which many of the current wave of migrants passed on their way from Honduras in October.

According to information gleaned from the Department of Homeland Security and The Hill, here are some of the figures that illustrate the threat at the southwestern border of the United States:

  • The border between the U.S. and Mexico is approximately 2,000 miles long.
  • The number of migrants, mostly from Central America, who are encamped in Tijuana, Mexico, as of Sunday was 6,200. On Sunday, a CNN reporter asserted that the majority are men.
  • There are 3,000 similar migrants waiting in Mexicali, which lies east of Tijuana.
  • The Trump administration has requested $2.8 billion for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to increase capacity to detain an average of 49,000 adults and 2,500 families detain for illegal entry.
  • The average number of asylum claims processed each day at the San Ysidro, California, border crossing facility is 100.
  • The estimated time believed to process the so-called caravan into the U.S. is 6 months.
  • Approximately 100,000 visitors per day enter the United States at the San Ysidro border crossing.
  • During the Clinton administration, the total number of deportations was 12,290,905.
  • The total number of deportations during George W. Bush’s administration was 10,328,850.
  • The Obama administration deported 5,281,115.
  • During the 2017 fiscal year, the total number of illegal aliens removed from the country was 226,000: down 6 percent since FY 2016.
     

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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