Religious leaders, activists arrested at United States border protest

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Authorities said federal officials are trying locate the mother of a toddler who was found with a group of suspected unauthorized immigrants just north of the U.S. -Mexico border near Campo, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

They all sought to skip the long official wait on the Mexico side for filing asylum claim with the U.S.by getting over the wall and handing themselves over to US agents.

Activists are arrested as they demonstrate against US migration policies near the US-Mexico border fence.

San Diego - Kneeling in front of riot police, 32 religious leaders and activists were arrested at the USA border fence in San Diego on Monday during a protest in support of the Central American migrant caravan.

Border Patrol spokesman Eduardo Olmos said 31 people were arrested on suspicion of trespassing by the Federal Protective service and one was arrested by the Border Patrol for assaulting an agent.

Agents with the U.S. Border Patrol seized 83 pounds of methamphetamine after encountering two subjects with large backpacks east of the Sumas Port of Entry on Thursday night.

A photographer for The Associated Press saw about a dozen people being handcuffed Monday after they were told by agents to move back away from a wall.

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The arrests marked the second confrontation with USA federal agents since the migrant caravan reached Tijuana in November.

The second group also met with Mexican immigration officials asking them to stop working with the municipal police in deporting caravan members.

Thousands of migrants are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after undertaking a grueling journey from Central America to the US border. Others asylum seekers cross illegally.

United States immigration officials say these claims, most of which are accepted, exploit a legal loophole allowing migrants to enter the United States while they await a court hearing on their asylum case.

"Two abandoned backpacks were discovered containing 83 pounds of a substance suspected to be methamphetamine which is pending testing and would be worth almost $800,000", according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says the claims are straining resources.

"We don't have sufficient and necessary infrastructure to adequately attend to these people, to give them a decent space", he told Grupo Formula radio.

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