On Sunday, the United States temporarily shut down the San Ysidro border crossing, a Port of Entry between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California, after hundreds of Central American migrants were bombarded with tear gas and, according to multiple reports, rubber bullets, fired by USA border authorities, according to BuzzFeed News.
The vast majority of people attempting to file an asylum claim are allowed to do so once they reach the US, but often don't see a judge for several years while they wait to see a judge.
US government agencies defended the response to Sunday's incident at the San Ysidro crossing south of San Diego, California.
As news pictures showing children fleeing tear gas prompted sharp criticism from some lawmakers and rights advocates, the U.S. government agencies defended the response.
San Diego Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott confirmed the report in an interview on Monday, adding the majority of those arrested were adult males.
Geoffrey Hoffman, a professor and director of the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic, which represents migrants applying for asylum, said the government would use it to push the argument that the migrants should remain in Mexico. It is the most heavily trafficked land border in the western hemisphere.
Many are fleeing gang violence and seeking asylum in the United States.
The refugees are legally allowed to apply for asylum in the USA, but this process has been known to take as long as a year.
Given the extensive fortifications at the USA border, the migrants' push to cross the border was doomed, even if they held out hopes that they somehow would be able to get through.
"Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries", he said.
A group of migrants climbed a fence as they tried to reach the US-Mexico border
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that 42 migrants who illegally crossed the U.S. -Mexico border over the weekend are now in custody. "Congress, fund the WALL!" He said that Tijuana is struggling to shelter the large number of migrants.
How should Mexico and the United States deal with the migrant issue?
US lawmakers face a deadline to approve funding for the federal government by December 7. During his presidential campaign, he promised he'd have Mexico pay for a wall.
In Tijuana, hundreds of caravan members including women and children protested peacefully.
Trump explained the use of tear gas to the media, saying it's "safe" to use.
"If it was a protest, it was a really stupid way to go about it because there were individuals who started throwing rocks and other projectiles", Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told the paper of the November 24, 2013, incident.
Border Protection agents launched pepper spray balls in addition to tear gas in what officials said were on-the-spot decisions made by agents.
The head of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost, also defended the use of tear gas.
"The way these people rushed the border was absolutely monstrous".
The migrants involved in Sunday's incident were a fraction of a caravan of more than 5,000 that is now stuck in limbo in Tijuana.