US fires tear gas across the Mexico border to stop migrants

02 January, 2019, 16:41 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Tear gas border

USA security personnel fired tear gas into Mexico after midnight as some migrants prepared to climb a border fence, according to the Reuters witness.

A group of about 150 migrants attempted to breach a San Diego border fence on New Year's Eve, and some began throwing rocks at responding US border agents who deployed pepper spray and tear gas on the crowd, authorities said.

The CBP statement said agents had not directly targeted the migrants attempting to cross the fence with tear gas and pepper spray. Agency spokesman Andrew Meehan says that after rocks were involved, it became "an issue of safety for the officers and frankly safety of the migrants".

The migrants said they were part of the caravan of people from Central America who arrived at the border over the last couple of months, escalating what had already been a strained border security regime.

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.


A family of asylum-seekers are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents after they illegally crossed the U.S. border wall into San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. "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 USA authorities states. It has been a constant target of President Donald Trump, who referred to it frequently in the run-up to USA mid-term elections in November.

ICE said they detained 25 caravan riders during the ordeal, two of whom are minors. "The rock throwers were located south of the fence, in an elevated position both above the border fence area and the incursion attempt".

A similar incursion in November, also caught on video, drew massive criticism from Democrats in Congress, who called the use of tear gas cruel.

A Homeland Security spokesperson described the group as "a violent mob".

The migrant caravan left Central America in October and travelled 4,300km (2,600 miles) to Tijuana in the hope of reaching the United States and requesting asylum. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there. The stalemate has led to a partial government shutdown. Romney says that as senator, he will treat Trump as he would any president - vote with him when it aligns with his and Utah's interests, oppose him when it doesn't - and claims he won't "comment on every tweet or fault" but will "speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest, or destructive to democratic institutions".

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