Jan 02, 2019 11:17 Asia/Tehran

US authorities fired tear gas into Mexico during the first hours of the new year to repel about 150 migrants who tried to breach the border fence in Tijuana.

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

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 according to Associated Press.

At least three volleys of gas launched onto the Mexican side of the border near Tijuana's beach that affected the migrants, including women and children, as well as journalists. 

The agency said agents saw "toddler sized children" being passed over concertina wire with difficulty.

On December 16, 13 immigrants attempting to cross a dividing wall between Mexico and United States, have been arrested by US Border Patrol agents.

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The deaths of two migrant children in just over two weeks raised strong new doubts about the ability of US border authorities to care for the thousands of minors arriving as part of a surge of families trying to enter the country.

Cynthia Pompa, the advocacy manager for the ACLU border rights center, said the number of migrant deaths had increased last year even as the number of border crossings fell.

Around 2,000 migrant children had been separated from their parents between mid-April and May 2018, because, unlike their parents, they are not charged with a crime. 101/202


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