US Border Officials Fire Tear Gas at Migrants on New Year's Day

The deployments were not directed at the migrants attempting entry on the US side or at the fence line. About a third gave up and ran back into Mexico but the remaining 100 threw blankets over the barbed wire that runs along the top of part of the border fence and climb over. "Border Patrol agents witnessed members of the group attempt to lift toddler sized children up and over the concertina wire and (have) difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner", a news release said.

A witness cited by Reuters, said he did not observe any rocks being hurled at the agents, but saw a migrant being hit by an object looking like a gas canister.

According to her, "initial reporting indicates that once the attempted illegal entry was thwarted by agents, the mob began pushing women and minors to the front, forcing minors to climb risky concertina wire, and encouraged conveniently invited media to begin filming their illegal acts".

U.S. Border Protection officers point their weapons at migrants as they prepare to cross the border fence to get into the U.S. side to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.

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

Agents used pepper spray upwind and tear gas of the migrants to try and deter them from throwing rocks. Shortly after, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at CBP officers.

On Nov. 26, Border Patrol agents also launched tear gas into Mexico to repel migrants that had broken away from a peaceful protest and attempted to cross the border illegally.


A previous incident in November when US agents fired gas into Mexico to disperse migrants triggered a call from Mexico's government for an investigation, as well as global condemnation.

The incident is undergoing an internal review, a standard practice when agents use non-lethal deterrents, according to CBP guidelines.

US border protection agents fired tear gas into Mexico early Tuesday aimed at about 150 migrants who were trying to scale over and crawl under a border fence to cross into the USA, according to The Associated Press. The White House announced in December that Mexico, rather than the US, will house migrants while they wait for their asylum cases to be processed.

Numerous migrants who have gathered at the border in Tijuana were part of the caravan which was making its way through Mexico during the mid-term election campaign.

Mexico's new leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has sought not to antagonize Trump over the USA president's demands for a border wall.

While Democratic leaders have thus far rejected Trump's demand for wall money, progressive advocacy groupsraised alarm in a letter last weekthat the Democrats' plan toreopen the governmentwould still provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-which oversees CBP-with substantial funding to carry out the president's anti-immigrant agenda.

Ms. Waldman said President Trump's proposed border wall could have helped in this case.


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