CBP fires tear gas after 150 migrants attempt to climb border fence

At least 100 migrants attempted to enter the United States illegally in the incident, CNN reported. 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".

One US border official called the group of around 150 migrants who attempted to breach the fence between the Tijuana side to San Diego "a violent mob". The agency said teenagers wrapped in jackets, blankets or mats were put over the wire, as were "toddler-sized children".

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

Agents responded with smoke, pepper spray and tear gas, it said.

Mohammed Salem / Reuters A migrant throws back a tear gas canister launched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents into Mexico, near the border crossing at Tijuana, Jan. 1.

After that attempt, part of the group stayed near the border and other Central Americans arrived to join them. CBP estimated that about 150 migrants attempted to sneak into the U.S. illegally.

The incident took place between a highway and the border fence. The White House announced in December that Mexico, rather than the USA, will house migrants while they wait for their asylum cases to be processed.

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.

The new year brought continued tensions along the U.S. -Mexico border as U.S. authorities fired tear gas at migrants from the Central American caravan that has gathered there.

Thousands of Central American migrants have been camping at shelters in Tijuana since arriving in November after traveling in caravans across Mexico to reach the USA border, where many have hoped to request asylum.

It comes as the United States federal government remains shut down as President Donald Trump and Congress argue over funding for his proposed border wall. Others have found jobs in Mexico and tried to settle there.

"Congress needs to fully fund the border wall", Waldman said in a statement.

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. Hundreds of migrants who were downwind of the gas were affected.

  • Jon Douglas