Border Patrol agents on Saturday used tear gas and pepper spray to stop a horde of undocumented individuals as they rushed a port of entry in Pharr, Texas.
Nearly 50 people were blocked as they attempted to cross the Rio Grande by way of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.
The group rushed the bridge in three waves, said one officer, beginning at 4:00 in the morning.
“Ignoring commands to stop, the group suddenly rushed the temporary barricades, bent metal poles, and disabled the concertina wire affixed to the barrier,” said the officer. “Several males in the group disregarded commands to stop and physically pushed through the barriers…When confronted by CBP officers, the combative individuals began assaulting the officers by punching, kicking, and attempting to grab the officers’ protective devices.”
At least 16 people were taken into custody; federal charges are pending against 14.
A similar incident occurred last November, when hundreds of migrants rushed a border fence in Tijuana. CPB agents used tear gas to disperse the crowd after they were attacked with projectiles.
This time around, migrants are frustrated by new policies which force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed in the United States. The new rule is part of a June deal with Mexico that seeks to limit the flow of Central American migrants through Mexico into the United States.
The Mexican government has promised to invest millions of dollars to improve migrant shelters, but most of these facilities are located in southern Mexico far from the US border.
Author’s Note: It is unfortunate that we are having to use tear gas to stop people from entering the country, but people need to know that they cannot cross the border by forming a mob and rushing in. If we let that happen, it will happen again, amplified by ten.