U.S. fires tear gas at migrants at Mexico border crossing

Jan 03, 2019, 00:53
U.S. fires tear gas at migrants at Mexico border crossing

The deployments were not directed at the migrants attempting entry on the US side or at the fence line. The agency says 25 migrants were detained.

In its statement following the incident, CBP said that the volleys were not aimed at migrants attempting the crossing, but at rock-throwers who prevented the agents from helping the children being dropped over the border fence.

He warned that this will not be the last confrontation at the southern border, where thousands of Central American migrants have gathered to seek amnesty in the U.S. "As agents were deploying less lethal chemical munitions (to include CS gas and inert smoke) in response to the assault, the group pushed women and children over the primary wall and into the concertina wire". At least one person hurled a canister back toward US agents.

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USA authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year.

The incident took place on the New Year's Eve, with migrants telling Reuters that they expected security to be lax during the first night of 2019 due to celebrations. CBP estimated that about 150 migrants attempted to sneak into the United States illegally.

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. "The rock throwers were located south of the fence, in an elevated position both above the border fence area and the incursion attempt". Majority fled back into Mexico after the tear gas was shot.

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

Under CHP's use of force policy, the incident is being reviewed.

The migrants in both cases were part of a caravan that left Central America in October and traveled 4,300 kilometers (2,600 miles) to Tijuana in the hope of reaching the USA and requesting asylum. Hundreds of people downwind of the gas were affected.

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In addition to that, US President Donald Trump wants 5 billion dollars in government funding for a border wall forcing a partial government shutdown and threatening to close the border with Mexico completely. The rest asked to be transported back home or dispersed to other parts of Mexico. The federal government began its 12th day of a partial shutdown Wednesday; it is unlikely to end before Congress resumes on January 3.