US Agents Fire Tear Gas Into Caravan Of Migrants Attempting To Cross American Border

Migrants attempt to elude a police blockade in Tijuana, Mexico.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

All traffic between the U.S.-Mexico border was halted on Sunday at the normally lively junction between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, according to the Guardian. As tensions continue to rise between the Central American migrant caravan members and law enforcement officials in Mexico, as well as Customs and Border Patrol officers in the United States, things came to an early head just hours ago as tear gas was fired into a mixed crowd of men, women, and children.

As the Associated Press reports, per the Guardian, a group of migrants had managed to work a piece of the concertina wire open earlier today — the razor wire acting as a barrier and part of the partition separating the two nations. After a breach had been formed, a number of migrants attempted to breach the fence between the two countries, forcing their way through the hole they had made. In response, American agents fired tear gas toward those individuals that had attempted to rush the border, CTV News detailed.

“Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, 23, said she saw migrants open a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them. ‘We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,’ Zuniga recalled to the AP while holding her 3-year-old daughter in her arms. Mexico’s Milenio TV also showed images of several migrants at the border trying to jump over the fence.”

Earlier on Sunday, a large contingent comprised of at least several hundred Central American migrants managed to peacefully press past a Mexican police presence guarding their respective side of the border, moving toward the American side. Many migrants were reportedly shouting, “We are not criminals! We are international workers!” as they made their way through the police emplacements.

The mayor of Tijuana, Juan Manuel Gastelum, has repeatedly called for aid in dealing with the approximately 5,000 Central American migrants currently taking up residence in his city. He has been criticized, as the Inquisitr previously reported, for having harsh words for some of the encamped migrants, 108 of whom have been arrested for criminal activity.

The news follows a similar piece of reporting from NBC affiliate NBC 7 San Diego, which detailed an ill-fated attempt made by a Guatemalan mother and her children to climb a barbed wire fence on Friday, November 23. Falling from the fence and puncturing her side on a piece of rebar in the attempt, the mother and her two children were treated for their injuries, and then turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.