Authorities use tear gas to stop migrants at southern border

Tear gas border

A U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) agent points his weapon at migrants as they prepare to cross the border fence illegally from Mexico into the U.S., in Tijuana, Mexico, January 1, 2019.

A person who spoke to Reuters did not witness any rock throwing on Tuesday but reported that at least one migrant appeared to have been hit in the head by a tear gas canister. The people affected by the gas included women and children, as well as members of the press.

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

The agency said 25 migrants were detained while others crawled back into Mexico through a hole under the fence.

USA border agents have responded to such moves with tear gas.

Clouds of the noxious gas could be seen wafting up from around the fence at the border, and one migrant picked up a canister and threw it back into USA territory. The agency said teenagers wrapped in jackets, blankets or mats were put over the wire, as were "toddler-sized children".

CBP said it was investigating the incident after the group attempted to travel into the USA near the border crossing in Tijuana shortly after midnight.

Some migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at agents and officers, according to the agency. The deployments were not directed at the migrants attempting entry on the US side or at the fence line.

"No agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers further away", the statement said. Under CHP's use of force policy, the incident is being reviewed.

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

Authorities fired the gas into Mexico to keep roughly 150 migrants from breaching the border fence in Tijuana.

"Migrants who participate in these violent events who are fully identified will be deported immediately", the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.

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