Trump strongly defends use of tear gas on caravan migrants

US Mexico border

As news pictures showing children fleeing tear gas prompted sharp criticism from some lawmakers and rights advocates, the USA government agencies defended the response.

One also might inquire where the widespread left-wing outrage was five years ago when about 100 people tried to illegally cross the border near the San Ysidro, California, port of entry - and threw rocks and bottles at Border Patrol agents - and those agents responded by pepper spraying the crowd back into Mexico, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

"It's horrifying to see tear gas used on mothers and young children as they seek refuge in the United States".

US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen accused the migrants of seeking to harm US border patrol personnel "by throwing projectiles at them".

Mexico has begun taking steps to increase security near its border with the United States.

Numerous migrants say they are fleeing violence and poverty in Honduras in search of asylum north of the border.

The incident left many migrants feeling they had lost whatever possibility they might have had for making asylum cases.

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The refugees are legally allowed to apply for asylum in the U.S., but this process has been known to take as long as a year.

On Monday, he tweeted: "Mexico should move the flag-waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries".

'And once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing - you know we had two or three agents at a time facing hundreds of people at a time - they deployed tear gas to protect themselves and protect the border'.

An Associated Press reporter saw US agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. Democrats and even some lawmakers in Trump's own party have resisted his calls to fund his proposed border wall.

The mayor of Tijuana said he has mixed emotions over what happened on Sunday.

Otherwise, Gastelum said the Mexican government has pledged to increase federal law enforcement presence in Tijuana and do everything possible to ensure safety in the city.

He said he understands that the migrants want to be part of the United States, "but there's a legal way to do it".

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US lawmakers return to Washington after the US Thanksgiving holiday break and face a deadline to approve funding for the federal government before some funding runs out on 7 December.

It was the latest chapter in a saga that has pitted Trump's tough immigration line against thousands of migrants who have made their way north through Mexico from violent and impoverished Central American countries.

Around 500 men, women and children, part of a caravan of roughly 5,000 mainly Hondurans who have been trekking towards the USA for weeks, scrambled over a rusted metal fence and surged into a concrete riverbed towards San Diego on Sunday.

Many users on social media debated whether tear gas is a chemical weapon, and if it is, why was it used against migrants?

Democratic lawmakers and immigrant rights groups blasted the border agents' Sunday tactics.

"On the other side, unfortunately, I can not agree on the use of force, not even that type of force that is tear gas or rubber bullets", Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said.

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