United States authorities fire tear gas across border to repel Central Americans

Cindy Vanessa Mendez kneels over her father's body. Omar Mendez Perez died after being left behind by human smugglers after he fell ill and was unable to keep

Cindy Vanessa Mendez kneels over her father's body. Omar Mendez Perez died after being left behind by human smugglers after he fell ill and was unable to keep

He explained that rock-throwers prevented agents from aiding women and children being passed over concertina wire that had been laid beyond the fence on the USA side.

Border patrol officers responded by firing smoke, pepper spray and tear gas at the rock throwers in Mexico, distinguishing them from those who were trying to cross the fence line, CBP said. It maintains that women, children and journalists experienced the effects of the relatively mild chemical agent.

AP, citing its own photographer at the scene, reported that the rocks were launched at the border agents by migrants only after they were pelted with tear gas.

Border Protection said adults were attempting to move "toddler-sized children" across the border through the barbed wire but that hurled rocks prevented the agents from helping the children in distress.

According to a statement issued by the Customs and Border Protection agency, the migrants attempted to cross into the United States by climbing over and crawling under a small fence along the border between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

The migrants attempting to cross the border early Tuesday were reportedly part of a caravan of more than 6,000 Central Americans who have arrived in Tijuana since November.

Most have been stopped in Mexico and have been waiting in shelters in Tijuana for weeks for a chance to apply for asylum in the U.S. Several of the migrants told the Los Angeles Times they tried to cross the border illegally after growing frustrated with the deadlocked process.

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Customs and Border Protection said the incident would be reviewed by its Office of Professional Responsibility, under its policy on use of force. It affected the migrants, including women and children, as well as members of the press.

Still, the Trump administration faced intense criticism from Democratic lawmakers and immigration activists over the November tear gas incident.

"The rock throwers were located south of the fence, in an elevated position both above the border fence area and the incursion attempt".

Several of the migrants said they planned to approach peacefully, but had grown frustrated and confused by the US immigration and asylum-seeking processes.

United States authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year. The march was to demand USA authorities accelerate the asylum process at official border crossings.

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.

Border patrol noted that no children were hit by the tear gas.

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