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Dozens of migrants breach U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana

Migrants enter the U.S. through a gap in the border fence at Tijuana's Friendship Park.

A group of migrants who breached the U.S.-Mexico border fence by the Pacific Ocean at Playas de Tijuana was detained Thursday by Border Patrol agents in Border Field State Park on the U.S. side.

But the whereabouts are not confirmed of at least five other migrants who crossed over on Wednesday, according to a witness who recorded both the Wednesday and Thursday breaches on video and spoke with some of the migrants.

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The group of about 35 people who crossed on Thursday included men, women and children who said they were mostly from Honduras and came to Tijuana in a caravan.

Video shot from the Mexican side shows the group climbing through a broken piece of fencing and running down the beach.

A group of about 35 people crossed on Thursday via breach at the U.S.-Mexico border fence  included men, women and children.

Agents with the Border Patrol had the group sit on the edge of a muddy trail while they collected their belongings into paper bags.

The detained migrants were instructed by Border Patrol agents not to speak with the media.

One member of the group, a man in his early 20s, was detained separately and kept his eyes closed as he was loaded into a separate van.

The group was apprehended about 200 yards from the border fence on the U.S. side.

Access to the area is typically closed to vehicles during periods of wet weather. The area where the migrants were stopped is about a mile from the parking lot at the entrance to Border Field State Park.

The migrants were loaded into Border Patrol vans, which drove away at about 6:15 p.m. Thursday.

Some areas of the trail were muddy and badly flooded after recent rains.

At center, a 22-year-old Honduran man says final words to his wife before he squeezed through the pillars in Tijuana on Wednesday carrying his young child.
At center, a 22-year-old Honduran man says final words to his wife before he squeezed through the pillars in Tijuana on Wednesday carrying his young child. (Thomas E. Franklin / For the Times)
A 22-year-old Honduran man squeezed through the pillars in Tijuana on Wednesday carrying his child while Customs and Border Patrol was not on watch. They disappeared into the distance and did not appear to be captured, but this was not confirmed.
A 22-year-old Honduran man squeezed through the pillars in Tijuana on Wednesday carrying his child while Customs and Border Patrol was not on watch. They disappeared into the distance and did not appear to be captured, but this was not confirmed. (Thomas E. Franklin / For the Times)

On Wednesday, photojournalist Thomas E. Franklin, an assistant professor of multiplatform journalism at Montclair State University in New Jersey, captured video of migrants slipping through the porous border fence in Playas, where a section of the lattice fencing had been pulled back. Franklin went back to the fence Thursday to see whether it had been repaired.

"As we arrived we saw a large group of people — about 75 people — jammed up against the fence looking through, a group of about 20 to 30 had snuck through the fence and a number of them were running down the beach in the distance," Franklin said.

Franklin had been working in the area on a border-related project when he recorded the footage, which he shared with The Times.

After the last of the migrants slipped through on Thursday — two women with one holding a child — a Border Patrol SUV drove up to the fence and blocked the gap.

Two women, one carrying a young child, followed about 20 to 30 migrants who squeezed through an opening in the border fence at Playas de Tijuana on Thursday, running past Border Patrol heading toward San Diego.
Two women, one carrying a young child, followed about 20 to 30 migrants who squeezed through an opening in the border fence at Playas de Tijuana on Thursday, running past Border Patrol heading toward San Diego. (Thomas E. Franklin / For the Times)

In the video shot Wednesday, the migrants can be seen running down the coastline in Imperial Beach while an agent chases after them. The video also shows people on the Mexican side jeering the Border Patrol agent.

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One of the men seen in the video is fleeing while he is carrying a small child in his arms.

It remains unknown whether the people who slipped through the fence Wednesday were apprehended.

A spokesman for the Border Patrol said he was not immediately aware of either incident.

Fry writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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