Migrants march towards USA border in present of power

"It was Border Patrol agents' effort and valued partnership with the Honduran Consulate in Los Angeles that helped us identify a unsafe convicted felon moving amongst the migrant caravan", said San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott.

Homeland Security said Friday that a convicted murderer was among the members of the migrant caravan, and was caught trying to sneak into the US late last week.

Some Central American migrants, mostly men, tried to breach the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico and California on Sunday, after pushing past a blockade of Mexican police standing guard near the global border crossing in a bid to pressure the U.S to hear their asylum claims.

The decision not to prosecute came despite President Donald Trump's vow that the USA will not tolerate lawlessness and after extensive preparations were made for the caravan, including deployment of thousands of active-duty troops to the border.

The mayor of Tijuana added that whoever organized this migrant caravan needs to be held accountable and face criminal charges. The Health Department said 6,000 are in the city, while U.S. Department of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said this week that there are 8,500 spread across Tijuana and nearby Mexicali.

The hunger strike at the border comes nearly a week after U.S. Border Patrol officers fired tear gas at the caravan after hundreds rushed the border.

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"Why are (the police) treating us like this if we're not causing them or the Mexican people any trouble?" he said.

Many others were not referred to the Justice Department because they were children or parents accompanying children, the official said. That prompted Border Patrol agents to launch tear gas and pepper spray balls to quell the unrest in the crowd that included small children in diapers.

The other adults were not prosecuted because Customs and Border Protection didn't have enough information to pursue charges, including the name of the arresting officers, according to the official, who said it was a chaotic scene.

Many want to seek asylum in the United States, but inspectors at the San Ysidro border crossing are processing about 100 claims a day, meaning they will likely have to wait weeks or months.

USA authorities are working on a new system to better record evidence if similar circumstances arise in the future, the official said.

After walking and hitch-hiking more than 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) to the USA southern border, some 500 migrants tried to breach it on Sunday.

  • Sonia Alvarado