Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

US agents fire tear gas at migrants across Mexican border

ICE Was Forced to Use Tear Gas on Another Load of Caravan Riders ICE Was Forced to Use Tear Gas on Another Load of Caravan Riders
Andrew Cummings | 02 January, 2019, 16:39

US border agents launched tear gas into Mexico early on Tuesday to deter a group of migrants that one official called "a violent mob" from crossing over from Tijuana, according to a Reuters witness and the usa government.

The photographer also said they saw at least three volleys of gas and plastic pellets launched onto the Mexican side of the border near Tijuana's beach that affected the migrants, including women and children, as well as journalists.

The migrants attempting to cross the border early Tuesday were reportedly part of a caravan of more than 6,000 Central Americans who have arrived in Tijuana since November.

"To address the rock throwers assaulting agents and risking the safety of migrants attempting to cross who were already on the USA side, both smoke and minimal countermeasures were deployed", CBP said in a statement. The agency said 25 migrants, including two teenagers, were detained. "Several arrests were made, all individuals from central America".

Agents deployed smoke, pepper spray, and tear gas to stop the rock throwers, according to CBP, which said deployments were directed at the rock throwers, not at the migrants trying to cross the border in a separate area.

American authorities fired tear gas across the border into Mexico during a unsafe and chaotic situation in the early hours of 2019, officals say.

"Border Patrol agents witnessed members of the group attempt to lift toddler sized children up and over the concertina wire and having difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner".

The agency said it couldn't assist children attempting to cross the border because of the rocks being thrown at its officers.

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Shortly after the New Year began, dozens of migrants stood on a hill from which they could see U.S. border agents, who watched them closely.

Numerous migrants are waiting in Tijuana for a chance to apply for asylum in the US, but there was a backlog before the caravan's arrival and the wait is expected to be many months.

The incident comes on the heels of another recent event at the border in which hundreds of migrants tried to rush the border, forcing the hours-long closure of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

A Homeland Security spokesperson described the group as "a violent mob". CBP said 42 people were arrested on the United States side.

Numerous migrants are waiting in Tijuana for a chance to apply for asylum in the United States, but there was a backlog before the caravan's arrival and the wait is expected to be many months.

Trump used the caravan to stir up fear of immigrants as he pressed his drive to build a wall on the border.

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.

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