Ugly scene today in Tijuana, where a group of Central American migrants attempted to evade a blockade formed by Mexican police and were met with teargas fired by U.S. authorities when they approached the border.

The New York Times reports:

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A peaceful march by Central American migrants waiting at the southwestern United States border veered out of control on Sunday afternoon, as hundreds of people tried to evade a Mexican police blockade and run toward a giant border crossing that leads into San Diego.

In response, the United States Customs and Border Protection agency shut down the border crossing in both directions and fired tear gas to push back migrants from the border fence.

Thousands of migrants fleeing violence and poverty are currently being housed in an overcrowded and undersupplied makeshift shelter, at a sports complex in Tijuana, where today’s demonstrations began.

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) was critical of the actions by CBP today, stating, “Tear gas across the border against unarmed families is a new low.”

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U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen released the following statement, stating that projectiles — presumably rocks or something similar — were thrown across the border at CBP agents:

This morning, CBP was forced to close the San Ysidro point of entry to ensure public safety in response to a large number of migrants seeking to illegally enter the U.S. They attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them.

DHSwill not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down points of entry for security reasons. We’ll seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our sovereignty.

CBP, along with other DHS, federal, state and local law enforcement, and the Department of Defense, have a robust presence along the southwest border and at our points of entry. We remain in close contact with Mexican authorities and are committed to resolving this situation safely in concert with them.

Surely the president of these United States will find a way to defuse a tense situation tomorrow morning with calm and commanding leadership. 

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