According to witnesses from AP, U.S. authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year to repel about 150 migrants who tried to breach the border fence in Tijuana.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement later Tuesday that the gas was used to target rock throwers apart from the migrants who were trying to cross.
“No agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers further away,” the statement said.
Agents said several teenagers were put over the fence’s barbed wire in heavy jackets and blankets.
CBP said small children were also being put over the fence, but the migrants were “having difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner.”
The agency said it couldn’t assist the children attempting to cross the border because of the rocks being thrown at its officers.
Agents deployed smoke, pepper spray, and tear gas to stop the rock throwers, according to CBP. These deployments were directed at the rock throwers and not at the migrants trying to cross the border in a separate area, the agency said.
“No agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers further away,” CBP said.
Last month US Border patrol was forced to launch tear gas at the caravan who were throwing bottles and rocks at agents. Hundreds of migrants from the leading Central American caravan pushed past Mexican riot police and rushed the border at the port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., in a major test for both U.S. border authorities and Mexican officials.
Trump didn’t directly mention this latest surge but blasted Pelosi in a tweet – urging her to come to the table on border control.
Trump: “Border Security and the Wall “thing” and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?”
Pelosi, who is freshly returned from her vacation in Hawaii, has yet to respond to President Trump’s numerous attempts to strike an agreement on the wall. Meanwhile, the President has held true to his vow to remain in Washington until a resolution is made.