USA border force fires tear gas at migrants crossing from Mexico

Tuesday's use of tear gas comes a little more than a month after a similar incident along the border near Tijuana.

The agency said the tear gas dispersed the rock-throwers, while most of the people who tried to burrow into the US squirreled through the hole back into Mexico. AsCommon Dreamsreported, CBP agents fired tear gas across the U.S. -Mexico border in late November, forcing women and children to flee "screaming and coughing".

The agency said agents saw "toddler-sized children" being passed over concertina wire with difficulty. At least one person hurled a canister back toward USA agents.

Reuters reported that United States security personnel fired tear gas into Mexico after midnight on New Year's Day as some migrants prepared to climb a border fence.

The media agency further says that border agents fired three volleys of the gas as well as plastic pellets and pepper spray.

The US Customs and Border Protection agency said the gas was used to stop people throwing rocks from the Mexican side and not migrants who were trying to cross.

The White House has also attempted to prevent migrants from applying for asylum if they cross the border illegally, and to rule that domestic abuse or gang violence does not qualify migrants for asylum.

"Shortly thereafter, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at the CBP agents and officers".

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"There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation into the reported use of tear gas and other agents in this incident".

Border Protection told AP that its Office of Professional Responsibility will be assessing the incident to see if the amount of force used was justified.

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 majority of migrants returned to Mexico.

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

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

A Reuters witness documented in one photo where a migrant had been hit by what appeared to be a gas canister. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there.

Although President Donald Trump hasn't spoken directly about the New Year's Eve events, he did take to Twitter to condemn Nancy Pelosi for not taking a government shutdown over border security and illegal immigration seriously.

  • Sonia Alvarado