U.S. agents kick off new year by again teargassing people, including children, at border

TIJUANA, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 16: U.S. Border Patrol agents stand vigil at the border with Mexico on November 16, 2018 in San Diego, CA as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. U.S. border agencies continued to fortify the fence with razor wire and additional personnel as members of the migrant caravan arrived to Tijuana across the border from San Diego. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

New year, same violence against migrants. U.S. agents kicked off 2019 by, again, launching tear gas at people on the Mexican side of the border, including children, as well as journalists covering the region:

US Customs and Border Protection said in a statement later on Tuesday that the gas was used to target rock throwers apart from the migrants who were trying to cross.

“But the AP saw rocks thrown only after US agents fired the teargas,” The Guardian reported. In addition to tear gas, CBP agents launched smoke and pepper spray. “The AP journalist also saw plastic pellets fired by US agents.” There were no reports of injuries.

“The majority of people came in peace,” one man from Honduras said, clarifying that “our intent was to walk up peacefully.” He said that tear gas “was very strong. It was everywhere. People were crying. Women and children too. The gas was everywhere.”

The last time agents launched tear gas, one mom said that she thought her children were “going to die with me because of the gas we inhaled.” Maria Meza was eventually allowed into the U.S. and has since applied for asylum.

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