US fires tear gas across the Mexico border to stop migrants

US fires tear gas across the Mexico border to stop migrants

US fires tear gas across the Mexico border to stop migrants

Last time the U.S. border patrol resorted to tear gas to fend off an avalanche of migrants trying to break through the fence in November, it sparked a massive backlash after videos and photos of women and children as young as three coughing and fleeing in disarray went viral.

The Customs and Border Protection release said agents and officers deployed smoke, pepper spray and CS gas to address the rock throwers, who they said were assaulting border agents and also risking the safety of migrants who had already made it onto the US side.

Members of the group who spoke with AP said they arrived last month with a caravan which set out from Honduras.

Border Patrol agents added that the group tried to lift toddler-sized children over the concertina wire, but agents were unable to help the children because too many rocks were being thrown.

According to a statement issued by the Customs and Border Protection agency, the migrants attempted to cross into the United States by climbing over and crawling under a small fence along the border between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

In a previous incident, USA agents launched tear gas across the border after some migrants tried to breach the border following a peaceful march in Tijuana on November 26.

In footage provided by Reuters, a man is seen picking up and throwing a tear gas canister back over the barrier while a group of Spanish-speaking migrants cheers and whoops loudly. After they were blocked one group grew more combative, firing rocks over the border to try to hit agents. Agents responded with smoke, pepper spray and tear gas, it said.

The agency apprehended 25 people, including two minors, the release said.

Jan 1, 2019, 10 p.m.: This story was updated to include a statement from a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson.

Thousands of Central American migrants have been camping at shelters in Tijuana since arriving in November after traveling in caravans across Mexico to reach the United States border, where many have hoped to request asylum. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there.

Those calls have been met with resistance on Capitol Hill, where Democrats say they won't approve any increase in funding for the president's border wall, and say the people attempting to force their way into the US are refugees fleeing violence back home in Central America, and should be given a chance at asylum. He has also made it harder for people to request asylum at the frontier.

Trump refused to back down on his border wall project, despite it being the cause a partial government shutdown that has continued into its 11th day.

Related news