Mexico pledged to shore up security near its border with the United States and local authorities said that 39 migrants were arrested after a peaceful march devolved into chaos when U.S. agents fired tear gas into Mexico to stop some migrants who tried to breach the border.

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Sunday it would immediately deport those who tried to “violently” enter the U.S. from Tijuana. Meanwhile, Tijuana’s municipal government said that more than three-dozen migrants were arrested for disturbing the peace and other charges stemming from the march and what followed.

Migrants cross the river at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S.  The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Migrants cross the river at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The vast majority of the more than 5,000 Central American migrants camped out for more than a week at a sports complex in Tijuana returned to their makeshift shelter to line up for food and recuperate from an unsettling afternoon.

A migrant woman helps carry a handmade U.S. flag up the riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as a group of migrants tries to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Lurbin Sarmiento, 26, of Copan, Honduras walked back to the sports complex with her 4-year-old daughter shaken from what had unfolded a short time earlier at the Tijuana River and U.S. border.

Migrants push past Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the United States. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Migrants push past Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the United States. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

She had been at the bottom of the river — a concrete riverbed conveying a trickle of water — near the border with her daughter when U.S. agents fired tear gas.

Migrants walk up a riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Migrants walk up a riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

“We ran, but the smoke always reached us and my daughter was choking,” Sarmiento said. She said she never would have gotten that close with her daughter if she thought there would be gas.

The gas reached hundreds of migrants protesting near the border after some of them attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries. American authorities shut down the nation’s busiest border crossing at San Ysidro for several hours at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.

Migrants run from tear gas launched by U.S. agents, amid members of the press, at the top of a riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after a group of migrants pushed past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city.  (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Migrants run from tear gas launched by U.S. agents, amid members of the press, at the top of a riverbank at the Mexico-U.S. border after a group of migrants pushed past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The situation devolved after the group began a peaceful march to appeal for the U.S. to speed processing of asylum claims for Central American migrants marooned in Tijuana.

Mexican police had kept them from walking over a bridge leading to the Mexican port of entry, but the migrants pushed past officers to walk across the Tijuana River below the bridge. More police carrying plastic riot shields were on the other side, but migrants walked along the river to an area where only an earthen levee and concertina wire separated them from U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Some saw an opportunity to breach the crossing.

Migrants pray during a vigil outside the Benito Juarez Sports Center serving as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Migrants pray during a vigil outside the Benito Juarez Sports Center serving as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

An Associated Press reporter saw U.S. agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. Mexico’s Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

Honduran Ana Zuniga, 23, also said she saw migrants opening a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them.

Seven-year-old Honduran migrant Genesis Belen Mejia Flores waves an American flag at U.S. border control helicopters flying overhead near the Benito Juarez Sports Center serving as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants, in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Seven-year-old Honduran migrant Genesis Belen Mejia Flores waves an American flag at U.S. border control helicopters flying overhead near the Benito Juarez Sports Center serving as a temporary shelter for Central American migrants, in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Children screamed and coughed. Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of feet away.

Migrants cross the river at the Mexico-U.S. border after pushing past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S.  The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Migrants cross the river at the Mexico-U.S. border after pushing past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

“We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” Zuniga told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.

As the chaos unfolded, shoppers just yards away on the U.S. side streamed in and out of an outlet mall, which eventually closed.

Migrants gather at the Mexico-U.S. border as U.S. agents stand guard, right, after the group pushed past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing as they try to reach the U.S from Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants gather at the Mexico-U.S. border as U.S. agents stand guard, right, after the group pushed past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing as they try to reach the U.S from Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Throughout the day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopters flew overhead, while U.S. agents on foot watched beyond the wire fence in California. The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings were suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities. All northbound and southbound traffic was halted for several hours. Every day more than 100,000 people enter the U.S. there.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers walks along a wall at the border between Mexico and the United States, as seen from San Diego on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. Migrants approaching the U.S. border from Mexico were enveloped with tear gas Sunday after a few tried to breach a fence separating the two countries. The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings have been suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities. All northbound and southbound traffic was halted. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers walks along a wall at the border between Mexico and the United States, as seen from San Diego on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. Migrants approaching the U.S. border from Mexico were enveloped with tear gas Sunday after a few tried to breach a fence separating the two countries. The Border Patrol office in San Diego said via Twitter that pedestrian crossings have been suspended at the San Ysidro port of entry at both the East and West facilities. All northbound and southbound traffic was halted. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that U.S. authorities will continue to have a “robust” presence along the Southwest border and that they will prosecute anyone who damages federal property or violates U.S. sovereignty.

“DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons,” she said.

Shadows of migrants are cast on the railroad tracks at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as a group of migrants tries to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Shadows of migrants are cast on the railroad tracks at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as a group of migrants tries to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

More than 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks via caravan. Many hope to apply for asylum in the U.S., but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.

Irineo Mujica, who has accompanied the migrants for weeks as part of the aid group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, said the aim of Sunday’s march toward the U.S. border was to make the migrants’ plight more visible to the governments of Mexico and the U.S.

Migrants peer through the border wall after pushing past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants peer through the border wall after pushing past Mexican police at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

“We can’t have all these people here,” Mujica told The Associated Press.

An official walks along the empty lanes of Interstate 5, where it reaches the San Ysidro port of entry, after closing the port Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in San Diego. Migrants approaching the U.S. border from Mexico were enveloped with tear gas Sunday after a few tried to breach the fence separating the two countries. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
An official walks along the empty lanes of Interstate 5, where it reaches the San Ysidro port of entry, after closing the port Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in San Diego. Migrants approaching the U.S. border from Mexico were enveloped with tear gas Sunday after a few tried to breach the fence separating the two countries. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum on Friday declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city of 1.6 million, which he says is struggling to accommodate the crush of migrants.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday to express his displeasure with the caravans in Mexico.

A migrant waves an Honduran flag along the railroad tracks at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as a group of migrants tries to reach the U.S.  The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
A migrant waves an Honduran flag along the railroad tracks at the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as a group of migrants tries to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

“Would be very SMART if Mexico would stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border, or if originating countries would not let them form (it is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S. No longer),” he wrote.

Migrants stand at the Mexico-U.S. border wall where Mexican federal police stand guard at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Migrants stand at the Mexico-U.S. border wall where Mexican federal police stand guard at the Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, as they try to reach the U.S. The mayor of Tijuana has declared a humanitarian crisis in his border city and says that he has asked the United Nations for aid to deal with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants who have arrived in the city. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Mexico’s Interior Ministry said Sunday the country has sent 11,000 Central Americans back to their countries of origin since Oct. 19, when the first caravan entered the country. It said that 1,906 of those who have returned were members of the recent caravans.

Mexico is on track to send a total of around 100,000 Central Americans back home by the end of this year.

U.S. border agents in San Diego fired tear gas on hundreds of migrants protesting on the Mexican side of the border on Sunday after some of them attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries. (Nov. 26)

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Source: The Associated Press