Caravan Migrants Get Children Caught in Concertina Wire – Hurl Rocks at Border Patrol Agents Who Respond With Tear Gas
Around 150 caravan migrants in Tijuana, Mexico waged a coordinated assault on Border Patrol agents at the border fence near San Diego around 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day. The migrants got children caught in concertina wire to distract agents as the other migrants stormed the border.
Some migrants threw rocks at the agents according to Border Patrol. Tear gas was fired over the fence into the Mexico side to disperse the rock throwing migrants.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the border assault had been planned for over a week, “Such a rush of the border has been discussed for several days. Plans to make the effort on Christmas Eve did not materialize.”
Video posted by ABC News:
— ABC News (@ABC) January 2, 2019
The aggressive response by Border Patrol is in marked contrast to the ‘Welcome Wagon’ greeting they gave caravan migrants who climbed over the same fence during Christmas week as a lone agent stood there doing nothing to stop them.
STRIKING PHOTO: Rather than face long waits at ports of entry, a Honduran migrant family climbs over the border fence with the U.S. at Tijuana, Mexico, to hand themselves over to Border Patrol. Credit: @dochoadeolza / @AP pic.twitter.com/LxjdQel826
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) December 27, 2018
Rodney Scott, Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector for the U.S. Border Patrol, posted a video report on the attack. One agent was hit in the face by a rock, but was not harmed as he was wearing protective headgear. Behind Agent Scott one can see the concertina wire at the border fence that migrants were tossing their children into.
— Rodney Scott (@RSScott_BP252) January 2, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement on the border assault.
“The following is based on initial operational reporting. Last night, an approximately 150 migrants attempted to illegally enter the United States by climbing over and crawling under border fence in San Diego Sector. Due to CBP’s increased presence, a first group of 45 turned back towards Mexico. 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. 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. 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.
“These countermeasures successfully suppressed the rock throwers causing them to flee the area. Most of the migrants attempting the incursion, to include those with children, returned to Mexico via a hole under the fence and by climbing over the fence. 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. Twenty-five apprehensions, including two teenage migrants, were made. Under CBP use of force policy, this incident will be reviewed by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility.”
President Trump is scheduled to hold a bipartisan meeting on border security with House and Senate leaders Wednesday afternoon at the White House in an effort to secure funding for a border wall and other border security measures in order for a budget deal to be made that would end the partial government shutdown.