Things That Matter

Immigration Agents Launch Tear Gas Canisters At Asylum Seekers At US-Mexico Border

Asylum seekers rushed the San Ysidro border crossing in Tijuana.

Close to 1,000 of the asylum seekers from Honduras and Guatemala have reached the U.S.-Mexico border. The asylum seekers were blocked from using the official port of entry by Mexican federal agents on the Tijuana side, according to CNN. Undeterred, the migrants made their way across the Rio Grande River in an attempt to present themselves at the border to legally seek asylum.

United States Customs and Border Protection officers reacted to the group of asylum seekers rushing the border by throwing tear gas canisters into the crowd. According to the New York Times, more than two dozen tear gas canisters littered the Mexico side of the border after being thrown in different directions to push back against the asylum seekers.

“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 personnel by throwing projectiles at them,” United States Homeland Security 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. We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty.”

ABC News reported that border agents on the U.S. side of the border responded by closing the world’s busiest border crossing station connecting Tijuana and San Diego. The border was closed for several hours reopening on Sunday evening

The caravan of asylum seekers  peacefully marched more than 2,000 miles in a month to seek asylum. U.S. and international law allows for those seeking refuge the right to enter a country seeking asylum. Tijuana’s mayor, Juan Manuel Gastelum, called the influx of migrants in his city as a humanitarian crisis. Mayor Gastelum has called on the international community and Mexican government for assistance to help with the migrants currently in the city.

This is a developing story. Check back with mitú for updates as things develop.


READ: What You Need To Know About The Migrant Caravan That Is Heading Towards The US-Mexico Border

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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This French Bulldog Disappeared From His California Home and Was Found Weeks Later in Tijuana

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This French Bulldog Disappeared From His California Home and Was Found Weeks Later in Tijuana

Phot via ABCLiz/Twitter

Looks like French bulldogs just can’t stay out of the headlines! Following Lady Gaga’s harrowing dog-napping ordeal, another dramatic dog fiasco has recently made the news.

Recently, a Bay Area woman was reunited with her French bulldog, Brody, after he had been found 600 miles away…in Tijuana, Mexico.

According to Brody’s owner, Debbie Campbell, she had been frantically searching for her emotional support dog for weeks after he “wandered away” from her front yard on February 3rd.

Immediately after Brody’s disappearance, Campbell and her family launched an intense search party. They posted flyers around town and posted on social media to find her beloved Brody, but no luck. Just when the Campbells thought they would never see Brody again, they received a mysterious message from Mexico.

A man named Benjamin Gonzalez contacted the family on Facebook and told them he had bought Brody a few weeks prior, on the streets of Tijuana.

By an odd twist of fate, Gonzalez had previously lived in the Bay Area himself before being deported to Mexico two years prior. Since he had lived in the Bay Area since he was a baby, his entire family still lived there.

When Gonzalez showed his new dog to his American family, they recognized Brody from social media posts and told him that Brody looked like a local missing dog. They told him to contact Debbie Campbell.

When Gonzalez contacted her, Campbell asked him to send her a picture of Brody’s tattoo for proof. “And the minute he did I knew it was my dog,” Campbell told KGO reporters.

Gonzalez said he can relate to the dog’s situation. Gonzalez told reporters that it made sense that Brody was far from home, because the dog seemed depressed.

“I’m deported myself, and you know I’m out here by myself, so we could relate,” Gonzalez said. “He doesn’t have family here…I don’t have family here, I’m out here by myself, so you know I was like, man, if I can return him I’m going to do the right thing.”

Within 24 hours, Debbie Campbell was reunited with Brody. She was overjoyed to be with her emotional support dog again. Campbell recounted the emotional situation through tears: “When he video called us to show us the dog, that took my breath away,” Campbell said KGO. “It’s a blessing that that man called, because otherwise there’s no way we could have gotten him back.”

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, thieves have been targeting French bulldogs more and more recently due to their popularity.

A police spokesperson referred to them as a French bulldogs are considered “a high-value ticket item.” Dog-nappers can make $1,500 to $6,000 reselling the pups on the black market.

“Frenchies are ‘in’ right now,” San Francisco SPCA president Dr. Jennifer told the Chronicle. “If I had a Frenchie, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight right now.”

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