U.S. authorities fire tear gas across border to repel Central Americans

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

Tuesday's use of tear gas comes a little more than a month after a similar incident along the border near Tijuana. About a third gave up and ran back into Mexico but the remaining 100 threw blankets over the barbed wire that runs along the top of part of the border fence and climb over.

US officials said the group had attacked agents with projectiles but a Reuters witness did not see any migrants throwing rocks at usa agents.

"Border Patrol agents witnessed members of the group attempt to lift toddler sized children up and over the concertina wire and having difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner".

Mohammed Salem / Reuters A migrant from Honduras, part of a caravan of thousands of Central Americans, jumps from the border fence to cross into the US, in Tijuana, Mexico, Jan. 1.

US Customs and Border Protection said it responded to the rocks with smoke, pepper spray and tear gas.

On "America's Newsroom" Wednesday, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez said the gas was deployed after migrants gathered on the Mexican side began to throw rocks at border agents.

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 after, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at CBP officers.

The incursion took place at a spot where there is border fencing, but it's a very old version that's relatively easy to penetrate.

The AP saw rocks thrown only after US agents fired the tear gas.

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.

In addition to that, US President Donald Trump wants 5 billion dollars in government funding for a border wall forcing a partial government shutdown and threatening to close the border with Mexico completely. 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.

Those calls have been met with resistance on Capitol Hill, where Democrats say they won't approve any increase in funding for the president's border wall, and say the people attempting to force their way into the US are refugees fleeing violence back home in Central America, and should be given a chance at asylum.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "We think this will disincentivize folks who think that if they can make the transit through Mexico - a very hard and arduous journey where awful things often happen to these migrants - we think they will realize that they won't be able to stay in the United States and disappear into our country".

Tijuana has become a flashpoint in the debate over United States immigration policy, amid a partial USA government shutdown over Mr Trump's demand for $5bn (£3.9bn) in funding for a wall along the border with Mexico.

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