USA fires tear gas into Mexico as migrants try to cross border

April FrancisJan 03, 2019

White clouds of acrid smoke could be seen wafting over the migrants' heads in video captured by Reuters.

Border Patrol came under scrutiny in December for using tear gas when a large group of migrants previously attempted to cross into San Diego. As the cloud drifts closer to those gathered, migrants can be seen covering their faces and fleeing, with some choking on the fumes. -Mexican border on Tuesday in an effort to drive back a group of approximately 150 migrants.

US Customs and Border Protection also said the gas was aimed upwind of people throwing rocks on the Mexican side.

In a statement subsequently posted on Instagram, Rodney Scott, chief patrol agent of the US Border Patrol in San Diego, said his agents fired tear gas after being "targeted with a barrage of rocks from south of the border".

The agency said several teenagers were hoisted over the fence at the border and that officers saw some toddler-size children being lifted over the barbed wire barrier. Hundreds of people downwind of the gas were affected.

This statement along with Waldman's criticism of the media being alerted likely stems from the now-infamous and heartbreaking photo of a mother and her children running from a tear gas cloud in November that spiked a massive debate about the use of the chemicals on migrants, a practice that was used by both the Trump administration and the Obama administration, as IJR previously reported. Shortly after, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at CBP officers.

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However, several media outlets, including AP and Reuters, contradicted the version of events presented by the U.S. officials.

In addition to rock-throwers, the migrants also began to try to push women and children from among their group forward onto the border boundary, US officials said, forcing some juveniles to climb over razor wire that the American government has posted in recent weeks as a deterrent to unruly crowds itching to jump the border.

An AP journalist also saw USA agents fire plastic pellets.

"Congress needs to fully fund the border wall, amend the TVPRA, and end the Flores Settlement Agreement that encourages and rewards this type of lawlessness by migrants at the border", Waldman said. Trump instead accused Democrats of "not caring" about USA security and inviting "all the crimes and drugs that Open Borders bring!".

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.

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