Families are tear-gassed as Trump officials close border crossing near Tijuana over caravan
U.S. fires tear gas at asylum seekers, including children, closes part of border at Tijuana. Photo via Reuters

The United States halted all border traffic on Sunday at the busy crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, as Mexican police cracked down on a protest on behalf of Central American migrants massed at the border and intending to apply for asylum in the United States.

Traffic in both directions was suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said, the agency said on Twitter.

U.S. President Donald Trump has raised alarms about a caravan of Central American migrants as it approached the United States, and has deployed military forces to the border to support the Border Patrol.

Trump tweeted on Saturday that migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would stay in Mexico until their asylum claims were individually approved in U.S. courts, but Mexico’s incoming government denied they had struck any deal.

On Sunday, police in Tijuana broke up what had been a daily protest, setting off chaotic scenes of protesters running in different directions, witnesses said. Some protesters said they intended to cross the U.S. border, but Reuters could not verify if they had.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers gathered on the U.S. side in a show of force.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Tijuana; Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Peter Cooney