This group of migrants thought security at the U.S.-Mexico border would be more relaxed in the early hours of New Year’s Day (January 1).
Instead, when they made a late night attempt to cross the barrier, a witness said they were met with tear gas fired by U.S. border agents into Mexico.
A migrant can be seen here picking up a canister and throwing it back into U.S. territory.
Of the 150 migrants in the group, 25 were detained, while most of the group turned back.
One U.S. official called the migrants a ‘violent mob’ and said that the agents were responding with ‘the minimum force necessary to defend themselves’.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection also said the gas was aimed upwind of people throwing rocks on the Mexican side.
But one witness told Reuters they didn’t see the migrants throwing rocks at U.S. agents.
The witness also said U.S. border agents fired tear-gas after midnight as some migrants prepared to climb the border fence.
On a second attempt, migrants began passing children over the razor wire along the fence to get them across.
In November, a similar incident drew international criticism and a call from Mexico’s government for an investigation.
Tijuana has been the temporary home to thousands of Central American migrants since November.
Many of them want to seek asylum in the United States.
But the recent deaths of two migrant children in American detention has only fueled debate over U.S. immigration policy.
In addition to that, U.S. 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.
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