[Update at the bottom. – J.E.]
It wasn’t long from announcement to execution. On 23 November, we reported that migrants in Tijuana were planning to rush the U.S. border en masse in an attempt to overwhelm defenses being maintained on both sides by Mexican and U.S. law enforcement.
On Sunday morning, a group of about 500 migrants (according to local news reporting) made a concerted effort to get past Mexican federal police on the south side of the port of entry between Tijuana and San Ysidro (in the U.S.). When the federales formed up in riot gear and set up a barrier, the group of several hundred migrants took off toward the sloping engineered banks of the Tijuana River, which they crossed on foot to reach the border fence on the river’s north side.
Things have calmed down now. Mexican federal police blocked this entire road where people enter the country through the port of entry with metal barriers. pic.twitter.com/3rpk92NDQA
— Adolfo Flores (@aflores) November 25, 2018
Although the group is mostly men, as can be seen in several videos, the pictures in this tweet show women and children being moved across the shallow river bed, apparently in an effort to spike the reaction from the U.S. Border Patrol on the other side.
People went around the police blocked overpass through a side street and crossed the river for the border crossing. The group is now congregating to the side of the port of entry. pic.twitter.com/bRUJRGI7OD
— Adolfo Flores (@aflores) November 25, 2018
Note the empty baby strollers being pushed across. These folks are apparently going to put babies or toddlers in them and try to surge across the international border with the small children in tow.
Mexican police closed the bridge so migrants are crossing the river. pic.twitter.com/6StnTv8wZp
— HansNichols (@HansNichols) November 25, 2018
BREAKING NEWS: Illegal immigrants are reportedly storming the U.S. border from the Mexican city of Tijuana right now. pic.twitter.com/IIRucrqfvx
— BNL NEWS (@BreakingNLive) November 25, 2018
This isn’t “human desperation”; this is political manipulation, using children as tiny human shields. The later behavior of the border-rushers clarifies what’s going on. They laugh, high-five, run around like youthful fools, try to get the best video they can. Some of them wave Honduran flags and shout as they approach a weak area in the fence (apparently a gate on hinges), where they’ve broken through. They pile up at the aperture, eagerly watching to see what happens on the other side. They throw rocks – always a thoughtful approach when seeking asylum in someone else’s country.
According to one eyewitness, it was the rock-throwing that drew the reaction from the U.S. Border Patrol, waiting on the north side of the fence.
That’s when the Border Patrol deployed smoke pellets (reportedly with tear gas) and used pepper spray.
You can see the moment when the crowd-control measures kick in. Suddenly, the would-be border-rushers can’t get back into Mexico fast enough.
The smoke from the pellets wafts through behind them, along with a media cameraman in full skedaddle.
All fun and games, until someone gets hurt.
Besides the immediate, on-scene responses by Mexican police and the U.S. Border Patrol, shaping and controlling this situation required closing down the border checkpoint for hours. I haven’t seen an announcement yet that it has been opened again.
Moreover, Interstate 5 and 805 were closed to traffic within a couple of miles of the border. If you’ve ever been to the border at San Ysidro, you know what that looks like. The “parking lot” stretches for miles on both sides of the border: an always-congested situation made dramatically worse.
There’s also a big outlet mall on the U.S. side of the border, which was ordered to close when the border rush started so that there would be no high-vulnerability situation for workers and shoppers as the rush was dealt with. If a massed rush is tried again, the mall’s operations will continue to feel the impact.
You can see in one of the videos (above) that the fence was breached a few feet from where the concertina wire stopped, or just at its edge. The value of the concertina wire is precisely in making it too much of an effort to attempt such breaches. More wire will probably be added after this.
It will be needed. At Epoch Times, Charlotte Cuthbertson reported Saturday on a plan to try a much larger border rush, one that would legitimately be termed an invasion. U.S. sources have confirmed some 10,000 migrants heading north from Central America; there is reportedly a plan to assemble up to twice that many and attempt to overwhelm America’s border defenses.
This opening passage tells the story briefly and memorably:
Honduran Marco Gómez, 26 … was with a larger group of migrants who said they wanted to send a message to President Donald Trump “to open the gates.”
Gómez said the plan is to wait until an expected 20,000 migrants arrive in Tijuana and then enter the United States en masse.
“We’ll stay together and be strong, and then move on to the U.S.,” he said. “Peacefully, like people going from one country to another. Marching.”
He said they plan to enter through the vehicle lanes at San Ysidro, because “it’s more spacious.”
Gómez, who said he was a construction worker in Honduras, said he is not sure if he will apply for asylum.
“It’s a waste of time. It’s a process that takes months and years—it’s a long time.”
Another migrant was equally blunt:
Frank Martinez who is traveling with his father, said they will cross illegally.
“I personally, and I know many people will attempt to do the same thing—it’s to cross illegally. I will enter illegally,” he said.
“Because we want a better life, and I’m in a hurry.”
He said Mexico has offered him asylum, but he won’t take it.
The radical, anti-borders activist group Pueblo Sin Fronteras had a preview of today’s border rush on its Facebook page.
in a video published on the Pueblo Sin Fronteras Facebook page—an open-borders group helping organize the migrants—a group of migrants at the sports complex in Tijuana can be heard saying they plan to try crossing en masse into the United States on Sunday, Nov. 25.
The political organizers posted the plan for a 25 November border rush on social media, and there was a border rush on 25 November. There’s a wealth of video and images of the border rush, showing the preponderance of young men in the group and the stagey effort to put a few women and children in the forefront.
The migrants started out weeks ago by crashing a border fence in southern Mexico, and the predictions from multiple sources that they will try to crash the U.S. border are coming true.
Yet, as Howard Portnoy noted this morning, members of the U.S. media complain that they are being “had” by false themes about the migrant caravans retailed by President Trump.
In San Diego, where the checkpoint closures, the traffic stoppage, the Border Patrol swarm, the U.S. troops working night and day to construct crowd-control measures, and the 5,000-and-counting migrant buildup in Tijuana are all too real, even the mainstream media have to cover it like it’s actually happening. The local NBC affiliate was there on Sunday morning to capture a support rally in San Ysidro held by associates of the caravan organizers.
WATCH LIVE: A large crowd gathers in San Ysidro to march in support of the migrant caravan. https://t.co/Ignbr3PCdD
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) November 25, 2018
This whole thing is transparently political and centrally organized. That doesn’t mean no one in the caravans is legitimately seeking asylum, or that there aren’t any people among the migrants who would make fine Americans. I’ve said that repeatedly. It does mean that what’s happening right now is not spontaneous, it’s not about overriding human need, and that it is false and even vicious to depict it as such.
America needs defensible borders, respected for all the traditional purposes of national borders, just as every other nation does. The radical political attempt to invalidate borders themselves is what we are dealing with here. Deterring the migrants from offering themselves up as a sacrifice to an illegitimate political cause is Job One. Trump is focusing on it, and for that, he is to be commended.
*UPDATE*: BBC News reports that Mexico will deport the migrants who made the border-rush attempt. That measure, whatever additional political comments Mexico may make, is a significant and welcome deterrent. It reduces Mexico’s problem of migrant overcrowding by nearly 10%, for one thing. It also reinforces for the migrants that there is no gain from trying to rush the border, and that there will be consequences.
Mexico says it will immediately deport nearly 500 migrants accused of trying to breach the US border near Tijuana https://t.co/B1vU6kBSTS
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) November 25, 2018
Reportedly, a larger group of the migrants sought local help organizing a demonstration before the border-rush was mounted, but the caravan organizers encouraged them instead to try to cross illegally in massed groups.
Amid growing desperation on Sunday, the group of about 500 migrants – who had been taking part in a peaceful protest for the right to seek political asylum in the US – made a run for the border.
Mexico’s Home Secretary, Alfonso Navarrete, said the group had asked for help to organise the demonstration, but had reportedly been encouraged by some of the movement’s leaders to split into different groups and try to cross into the US.