U.S. Agents Fire Tear Gas Across Mexican Border

U.S. Agents Fire Tear Gas Across Mexican Border

American border officers sent tear gas into Mexico early Tuesday to drive away about 150 migrants trying to cross the border into the United States, the authorities said.

In a statement, the Customs and Border Protection agency said that the migrants tried to climb over and crawl under the border fence near San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico — the same area where American officers fired tear gas across the border late last year and where Mexico is struggling to handle thousands of migrants who have fled violence and poverty in Central America.

Early Tuesday, as migrants gathered at the border fence there, several teenagers with heavy jackets, blankets and rubber mats tried to cross or cover concertina wire at the barrier. Others began throwing rocks over the fence at the American officers, according to the statement.

The American officers also saw members of the group try “to lift toddler-sized children up and over the concertina wire,” dangerously so, it said.

At this point, the agency said, its officers used smoke, pepper spray and tear gas “upwind of the rock throwers and south of the border fence” and not toward migrants already in the United States or trying to cross at the fence line.

The officers used tear gas “only after there were rocks and there were kids involved,” said a spokesman for the agency, Andrew Meehan. “Then it became an issue of safety for the officers and frankly safety of the migrants.”

After the tear gas was deployed, most of the migrants fled back under the fence and away from the border, Mr. Meehan said.

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