Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
World News | By Sandy Lane

Tear gas fired as dozens of migrants try illegal crossing to US

Tear gas fired as dozens of migrants try illegal crossing to US

An AFP journalist reported the crowd size at about 100 and observed the group of Central Americans gathering around 8:00 pm Monday night (0400 GMT Tuesday) in an area called Playas de Tijuana on the Pacific coast, often used by migrants as a departure point for attempts to sneak across the border.

The agency said the tear gas dispersed the rock-throwers, while most of the people who tried to burrow into the USA squirreled through the hole back into Mexico.

CBP officials said responding Border Patrol agents saw migrants trying to pass "toddler-sized children" over concertina wire. Border patrol agents were attempting to catch children who were being passed over the concertina wire.

The United States has also pushed Mexico to house Central American migrants while they seek USA asylum.

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The border patrol said they dispersed "smoke, pepper spray and CS gas to a position upwind of the rock throwers".

Although CBP policy says agents are not allowed to use tear gas on pregnant women and children, several women and children were among the group targeted by the gas used at the time.

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. CBP estimated that about 150 migrants attempted to sneak into the United States illegally.

Border Patrol came under scrutiny in December for using tear gas when a large group of migrants previously attempted to cross into San Diego.

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American police officers fired tear gas, pepper spray and smoke at the Mexican border in an attempt to deter more than 100 migrants from entering the USA illegally.

The AP is disputing the claim that the use of tear gas was precipitated by rock throwers, saying the gas was sacked first. Majority fled back into Mexico after the tear gas was shot. "However, this incident needs to be examined within the broader context of USA policies at the border".

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 United States and requesting asylum. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there.

Co-host Brian Kilmeade pushed back on any criticism that President Donald Trump's calling for a border wall was a midterm election issue before saying "Our border is in chaos". Hundreds of migrants who were downwind of the gas were affected.

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Ms. Waldman said President Trump's proposed border wall could have helped in this case. The federal government began its 12th day of a partial shutdown Wednesday; it is unlikely to end before Congress resumes on January 3.

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