(CNN)Some members of a large group of migrants who tried to rush the US border from Mexico, prompting the closure of a major border crossing in San Diego, will be deported to their home countries, according to Mexican authorities.
About 500 migrants on the Mexican side of the border overwhelmed police blockades near the San Ysidro Port of Entry Sunday afternoon, two journalists at the scene in Tijuana told CNN. A migrant family runs from tear gas released by US border patrol agents near the fence between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego.Tijuana police arrested 39 people in connection with the attempt to cross the border illegally, the agency said in a statement on Facebook.It said they would be reported to Mexican immigration authorities.Mexico’s Interior Ministry earlier said those identified as having tried to cross would be processed for deportation to their home countries.Read MoreProjectiles and tear gasAs the migrants tried to cross the border, authorities on the US side used tear gas to disperse them, the journalists said. Video of the scene showed a cloud of tear gas that sent people running and screaming, including families with young children.US Customs and Border Protection said the migrants threw projectiles that struck several agents. “Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety,” the agency said on Twitter. Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderCentral American migrants climb a metal barrier on the Mexico-US border near El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on Sunday.Hide Caption 1 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderA migrant family from Honduras, hoping to reach the United States, runs from tear gas released by US Customs and Border Protection near the fence between Mexico and the United States in Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 2 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants cross the almost dry riverbed of the Tijuana River in an attempt to get to El Chaparral Port of Entry in Tijuana on Sunday. Hide Caption 3 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants return to Mexico after US Customs and Border Protection deployed tear gas. The migrants were trying to illegally cross the border wall into the United States from Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 4 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderUS Customs and Border Protection fire tear gas toward migrants at the border in Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 5 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants clash with Mexican police at the US-Mexico border after getting past another line of Mexican police in Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 6 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderA migrant covers his face near the El Chaparral border crossing after US Customs and Border Protection used tear gas to disperse a crowd on Sunday.Hide Caption 7 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants climb over a fence as they try to reach the US-Mexico border in Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 8 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderA migrant covers his face as he runs from tear gas.Hide Caption 9 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderCentral American migrants are stopped by federal police officers near El Chaparral Port of Entry.Hide Caption 10 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderA migrant, one of thousands traveling from Central America toward the United States, is pushed back as she attempts to break through a line of Mexican police to reach the border wall.Hide Caption 11 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderPeople attempting to cross into the United States gather near their vehicles as the San Ysidro Port of Entry stands closed at the US-Mexico border on Sunday in Tijuana. Migrants circumvented a police blockade at another port of entry and US Customs and Border Protection temporarily closed the two crossings in response.Hide Caption 12 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderA migrant woman helps carry a handmade US flag up the riverbank at the border after getting past Mexican police in Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 13 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants cross the Tijuana River to reach the border fence between Mexico and the United States in Tijuana.Hide Caption 14 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderThree Honduran migrants huddle at the riverbank amid tear gas fired by US Customs and Border Protection.Hide Caption 15 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants cross the nearly dry Tijuana River as they make their way around a police blockade toward the El Chaparral Port of Entry.Hide Caption 16 of 17 Photos: Unrest at the US-Mexico borderMigrants run along the Tijuana River near the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana on Sunday.Hide Caption 17 of 17The incident marked an escalation of tensions that have been mounting since groups of Central American migrants began arriving in Tijuana a few weeks ago on their journey to attempt to gain entry to the United States. The migrants’ presence has drawn demonstrators — for and against them — and threats from President Donald Trump to close the US-Mexico border. Meanwhile, Tijuana’s mayor has called on the Mexican government and the international community for help.The melee closed one of the world’s busiest international crossings, San Ysidro Port of Entry, to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for several hours. By Sunday afternoon, CBP reopened crossing lanes in both directions to pedestrians and vehicles. How the incident beganThe incident began with a march to the border that organizers said would be peaceful. In response, CBP deployed additional personnel to San Ysidro on Sunday in expectation of demonstrations on both sides of the border.In Mexico, the march started at the Benito Juárez Sports Complex — where most of the migrants are staying — and continued to the border. As they reached the border area, some protesters split off toward multiple locations, CBP said. Some attempted to enter through San Ysidro and were turned away, the agency said. Others tried to enter “directly east and west of the border crossing.” After they were prevented from entering the port of entry, some of the migrants “attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement. They're steps away from the US border. But crossing it legally could take weeks“DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons. We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our front-line operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty,” Nielsen said.Mexico’s Interior Ministry said federal and local authorities stopped the migrants Sunday from crossing the border illegally. It described Sunday’s incident as “acts of provocation” and warned that far from helping the migrants’ cause, it could result in a serious incident on the border. ‘People of Tijuana will not pay’The mayor of Tijuana said on Sunday that he would not let the migrants’ actions damage the city’s relationship with its neighbors across the border. Residents of Tijuana work, study and visit the United States each day, and the border closures affect them, too, Juan Manuel Gastélum Buenrostro said on Twitter on Sunday. Trump expected to give troops authority to protect border personnel The mayor previously said he will not commit city resources to the migrants, including money or public services. He called on the Mexican government — specifically, President Enrique Peña Nieto and his secretary of domestic affairs — to provide assistance.”The people of Tijuana will not pay for the stay of these migrants. I will not send Tijuana into debt, just like I have been able to avoid the last two years,” he said in a November 22 Facebook post.”We are dealing with a humanitarian crisis and the federal government must step up to its responsibility!!!”