US Border Officials Fire Tear Gas at Migrants on New Year's Day

ICE Was Forced to Use Tear Gas on Another Load of Caravan Riders

ICE Was Forced to Use Tear Gas on Another Load of Caravan Riders

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. When agents and officers responded, about 45 migrants turned back to Mexico, according to the agency.

The Border Patrol fired tear gas, smoke and pepper spray rounds at the group of rock-throwers, said Customs and Border Protection.

A witness cited by Reuters, said he did not observe any rocks being hurled at the agents, but saw a migrant being hit by an object looking like a gas canister.

News photographers captured images of migrants massed on the Mexican side of the border, lowering people down onto razor wire coiled along the ground at the bottom of the US side of the fence.

Most have been stopped in Mexico and have been waiting in shelters in Tijuana for weeks for a chance to apply for asylum in the U.S. Several of the migrants told the Los Angeles Times they tried to cross the border illegally after growing frustrated with the deadlocked process.

But one witness told Reuters they didn't see the migrants throwing rocks at United States agents.

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.

After that attempt, part of the group stayed near the border and other Central Americans arrived to join them. "We don't like that type of violence of throwing rocks".

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 United States illegally.

On a second attempt, migrants began passing children over the razor wire along the fence to get them across.

Shortly after the New Year began, dozens of migrants stood on a hill from which they could see USA border agents, who watched them closely.

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

CBP said that under its use of force policy, the incident would be reviewed by its Office of Professional Responsibility. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there.

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.

"There's chaos at that border, which the Democrats don't seem to grasp", Homan said, arguing Democratic lawmakers have "offered nothing" in the battle over border wall funding.

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