Daniel Ochoa de Olza / AP
US border guards fired tear gas in Mexico early Tuesday and targeted around 150 migrants who were trying to crawl under a border fence and enter the US, according to The Associated Press.
White Clouds In videos taken by Reuters, biting smoke was seen over the heads of migrants. Migrants coughed and leaned forward as they walked through the haze. At least one person hurled a canister back at US agents.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security claims the migrants are "a violent mob" attacking US agents with projectiles. Katie Waldman told reporter Wendy Fry "the mob started pushing women and minors to the front, forcing minors to climb dangerous accordions, and encouraged the invited media to film their illegal activities." Migrants began to throw stones after the tear gas was fired.
The men, women and children on the Mexican side of the border arrived with the caravan of thousands of migrants saying they are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. Most have been stopped in Mexico and have been waiting for weeks in shelters in Tijuana for a chance to apply for asylum in the US. Several migrants told The Los Angeles Times that they were trying to cross the border illegally, growing disappointment over the stalled process.
Amnesty International Deputy Research Director Justin Mazzola condemned tear gas firing as "cruel and inhumane" and called for an investigation into the incident.
"The Trump government is opposing international law and staging a crisis by deliberately deterring asylum seekers from entry ports and threatening families who have no choice but to take desperate measures in their search for protection," Mazzola says a statement.
In November, American border guards fired tear gas at a large number of migrants approaching the US-Mexico border. After this incident, the US temporarily closed the San Ysidro border crossing.
The question of border security paralyzed the government after President Trump demanded an extra $ 5 billion to secure the border and reject the Democrats. The Federal Government began on Wednesday its 12th day of partial decommissioning; It is unlikely that the congress will resume on 3 January. On that day, the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, and the Chamber is expected to vote on a closure closure law.
DHS spokeswoman Waldman added in her statement, "Congress must fully finance the border wall."
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visited the Texas border over a weekend to inspect children's migrant processing facilities and medical demonstrations. Her visit came after two Guatemalan children died in US custody in December.
Regardless of border financing, the Trump government has taken steps to tighten the rules for asylum seekers. The White House announced in December that instead of the US, Mexico will host migrants while they wait for their asylum cases to be processed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "We believe that this will discourage the people who think if they can make the transit through Mexico – a very difficult and arduous journey where these migrants are often terrible things – we believe they will realize that they can not stay in the United States and disappear into our country. "
The White House has also tried to prevent migrants from seeking asylum if they illegally Crossing the border, and preventing domestic abuse or gang violence does not qualify migrants for asylum. The judges in California and Washington, D.C., have both put down measures.