"What I saw on the border yesterday was not people walking up to border control agents and asking to seek asylum", Scott said. With a backlog of cases that number into the thousands, many migrants appear set to linger along the border for months, if not longer. "So some people got rocks and threw them because many kids were fainting", he said.
Mexico's foreign ministry said it presented a diplomatic note to the US government on Monday calling for an investigation into the use of tear gas directed toward Mexican territory. Trump has vowed to shut down the southern border with lethal force if necessary, and is calling on Mexico to intervene.
Mexico's Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete said on Monday that migrants who attempted to cross into the USA in a "violent way" would be deported. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers repelled them with a volley of canisters emitting large clouds of gas as U.S. and Mexican government helicopters clattered overhead. USA border police then fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd of men, women and children. Democrats and even some lawmakers in Trump's own party have resisted his calls to fund his proposed border wall.
The ministry said Mexico is committed to protecting the human rights and security of the migrants and reiterated that tight cooperation was needed to deal with the migrant situation "with a focus on shared responsibility". But Mexican officials pushed back shortly after the article was published, denying they'd signed off on the agreement.
"We were deluded into believing that we had already reached the United States, and that they would grant us asylum", Colon told AFP. Trump has threatened to shut down the government unless Congress pays for his planned border wall.
Groups of Central American migrants have been converging on the Mexican border city for days in their quest to gain entry to the United States.More news: Mueller: Manafort Lied, Breaking Plea Agreement
In Tijuana, hundreds of caravan members including women and children protested peacefully.
As migrants tried to cross the border, authorities on the U.S. side used tear gas to disperse them.
Other photos and video show migrants huddling and protecting their faces after the tear gas firings.
"And that is, give us shelter, give them food, water, medicine, everything that a person needs to be dignified and have a place where they can stay dignified", he said.
Numerous migrants have been in the camp for more than two weeks.
Critics said this was aimed largely at bringing the immigration issue to the fore with his core supporters. "I think there is no chance", Mejia said.
"We can't have all these people here", he said.
Trump wants migrants to remain in Mexico while their USA asylum cases are adjudicated.