The scene raised flags from the beginning: why would more than 100 immigrants try to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border at one of its best-guarded spots?
But that’s what happened on Monday near the San Ysidro port of entry in California.
One Border Patrol union representative said that agents on the scene believed the crossing was organized in advance. And new reporting from Fronteras confirms he was right.
Fronteras reporter Jill Replogle spoke with deported migrants in Tijuana who said that an organizer had been handing out pocket-sized fliers about the operation for weeks.
Fronteras reported on the content of the fliers (see one here):
“So that we can reunite with our children, families,” it read in Spanish. “And for those who want the American dream and so that we can help our families succeed.”
The wordy, rambling flier ends with “Sí se puede!” written three times.
Fronteras didn’t identify the organizer, and so far, no advocacy group has taken credit for the rush on the border.
In recent months, there have been several border-crossing protests affiliated with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), a more radical immigrant rights group.
NIYA organizer Mohammad Abdollahi told Fusion he “can’t confirm nor deny any relationship to this crossing.”
He said that the group’s Bring Them Home campaign was an ongoing effort “to make sure all, now, 2 million deported have a way to come back home.”
The scene potentially could have led to a fatal confrontation between Border Patrol and the crossers.
Some of the migrants threw rocks and bottles at Border Patrol, according to the agency. Border Patrol considers rock-throwing a use of deadly force, and empowers agents to respond with a firearm.
No one was hurt or arrested on Monday, Border Patrol said. The migrants who tried to cross were forced back to the Mexican side of the border, a Border Patrol union representative told Fusion.