Border Patrol Fires Tear Gas to Disperse 150 Caravan Migrants Trying to Illegally Cross Border

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
January 1, 2019US News

Customs and Border Protection agents fired tear gas after migrants from a migrant caravan hurled rocks at them.

The latest altercation at the U.S.-Mexico border took place on New Year’s Day in the San Diego border sector.

Approximately 150 migrants tried to illegally enter the United States by climbing over and under the border fence, but due to the high number of Border Patrol agents, about 45 turned back.

“Shortly thereafter, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at the CBP agents and officers. Several teenagers, wrapped in heavy jackets, blankets, and rubber mats were put over the concertina wire,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.

“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. Agents were not in a position to safely assist the children due to the large number of rocks being thrown at them.”

“To address the rock throwers assaulting agents and risking the safety of migrants attempting to cross who were already on the U.S. side, both smoke and minimal countermeasures were deployed,” the agency added.

“Agents deployed smoke, pepper spray and CS gas to a position upwind of the rock throwers and south of the border fence. The deployments were not directed at the migrants attempting entry on the U.S. side or at the fence line. The rock throwers were located south of the fence, in an elevated position both above the border fence area and the incursion attempt.”

The tear gas and pepper spray forced the rock throwers to flee while many of the migrants who were trying to illegally cross the border also turned back.

Agents at the border fence said that no migrants at the fence line appeared to be experiencing ill effects from the tear gas or pepper spray.

Per use of force policy, the incident will be reviewed by the Border Patrol’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

tear gas at border
Tear gas thrown by Border Protection officers on the San Diego, Calif. side of the U.S.-Mexico border causes migrants to disperse on the Tijuana, Mexico side of the border on Jan. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

November Altercation

The altercation on Monday between migrants and Border Patrol agents invoked memories of the larger confrontation on Nov. 25.

A mob of migrants from the migrant caravan stormed the border that day, trying to overwhelm Border Patrol agents.

The migrants managed to rip down part of the fence and some were making their way toward the United States when agents fired tear gas.

Some 2,000 migrants participated in the rush near the San Ysidro border crossing, a Mexican federal police officer told The Epoch Times. Most of them fled back into Mexico after the tear gas was shot. In the video, multiple migrants can be seen hurling rocks and other projectiles at Border Patrol agents.

Several days later, hundreds from the violent mob were deported by Mexico.

“Migrants who participate in these violent events who are fully identified will be deported immediately,” the Ministry of Interior said in a statement. “Such provocative acts, far from helping their objectives, violate the legal migration framework and can result in serious incidents on the border.”

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