SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s position on the migrant caravans (all times local):
U.S. authorities say they made 42 arrests during a confrontation with migrants at the border separating San Diego from Tijuana, Mexico.
That number is lower than initially reported. Rodney Scott, chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, said Tuesday that an initial count of 69 arrests included some in Mexico by Mexican authorities.
The 42 arrests in the U.S. included 27 men, with the rest being women and children.
Scott says hundreds more illegally entered the U.S. but agents could not safely arrest them and they returned to Mexico.
Scott is defending the firing of tear gas into Mexico because agents were being assaulted with what he calls “a hail of rocks.”
Mexican authorities say they made 39 arrests in Sunday’s march associated with a caravan of Central American migrants.
President Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway says she feels for the mothers and children seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border but the idea that everyone in migrant caravans is “peacefully seeking asylum” is a misnomer.
The U.S. has used tear gas at the Mexican border to repel a crowd of migrants that included angry rock-throwers but also barefoot, crying children.
Conway on Tuesday denounced smugglers who have taken migrants’ money with guarantees of asylum. She wonders aloud why there weren’t people helping the migrants seek asylum legally.
Conway says violence at the border shows Trump critics who accused the president of playing politics with the issue are being proven wrong.
Trump has portrayed migrants at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing as a threat to U.S. national security. Critics insist he’s exaggerating to stoke fears and achieve his political goals.
President Donald Trump is defending the use of what he calls “very safe” tear gas by border agents to repel a crowd of Central American migrants that included rock-throwers but also crying children.
Critics denounced the border agents’ action Sunday as overkill, but Trump kept to a hard line.
Trump said Monday that the agents had been “rushed by some very tough people.”
But at a Mississippi roundtable later Monday, the president seemed to acknowledge that children were affected, asking, “Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it’s going to be formed and they were running up with a child?”
He said it was “a very minor form of the tear gas itself” that he assured was “very safe.”