United States re-opens California border crossing with Mexico after briefly closing it

A migrant family part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana Mexico

USA border officials on Sunday temporarily closed the San Ysidro port of entry between Tijuana and San Diego, one of the busiest border crossings in the world, "to ensure public safety" after agents shot several rounds of tear gas at migrants, leaving children screaming and coughing, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Customs and Border Patrol personnel "were struck by projectiles thrown by caravan members", and the agency said that prompted officers to use the tear gas "because of the risk to agents' safety".

Our chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay and his team have been on the front line of the migrants' struggle to make it across. As for a possible solution. the Trump administration reportedly struck a deal with the incoming Mexican government to keep asylum seekers south of the border as their cases are heard in court.

Thousands of migrants began arriving in Tijuana about 10 days ago and have been housed since then in squalid conditions in a community sports center that has been converted into a makeshift shelter.

Authorities on the USA side used tear gas to disperse the would-be crossers, the journalists told CNN.

Numerous migrants had gathered earlier in the day to protest against being forced to stay in Tijuana instead of being allowed to cross and seek asylum in the US. Trump has vowed to shut down the southern border with lethal force if necessary, and is calling on Mexico to intervene. Following the incident, the Mexican Interior Ministry said it will deport hundreds of migrants who attempted to "violently" cross the border. Her daughter, Cristina, 7, cried as Customs and Border Protection helicopters circled overhead. But fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day are being processed at the San Ysidro port of entry.

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USA officials have said for months that they were working with Mexico to find solutions for what they have called a border crisis.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that the port of entry was closed "to ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the USA illegally". A Washington Post report Saturday indicated that the USA and Mexico had come to a deal around such an arrangement, but in a separate report that followed, Mexican officials denied a deal had been made.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday that it "Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form". "Congress, fund the WALL!" he added. The crossing was reopened later on Sunday.

About 5,000 people - a lot of them from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador - have gathered in Tijuana after traveling in caravans in search of asylum to escape poverty and violence in their homelands, and many are expressing frustration at long wait times for their cases to be heard.

But officials in the incoming administration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said later - after the Post report was met by stiff criticism in Mexico - that the agreement was not yet final.

Mexico's Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since October 19, when the first caravan entered the country.

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