Rodney Scott, the chief agent for the San Diego sector, told CNN Monday that his agents arrested 42 people who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. 39 migrants of the caravan were arrested on the Mexican side of the border.
The arrests came after tear gas was used on the migrant caravan trying to enter into the U.S from Tijuana. Scott justified firing tear gas on asylum seekers by saying that the border patrol took the step when they were hit by rocks by the caravan.
“The group immediately started throwing rocks and debris at our agents, taunting our agents,” he said. “Once our agents were assaulted, the numbers started growing. We had two or three agents at a time initially facing hundreds of people at a time. They deployed teargas to protect themselves and to protect the border.”
He also claimed that eight women were arrested among the 42, and “The vast majority of the people we’re dealing with are adult males,” he said.
According to Scott some people actually made it through the border in an area where the wall is partially built. “The group breached a couple sections of that, actually tore down one small section, started to rush across,” he said. “And that’s another time that they started assaulting our agents. We were able to hold them back using riot techniques.”
The agent also called the migrants false asylum seekers because they were chanting and waving Honduran flags as they entered the United States. “If they were true asylum seekers, they would have just walked up with their hands up and surrendered,” he said. “And that did not take place.”
U.S. officials reopened the crossing at the San Ysidro port of entry between the U.S. city of San Diego and the Mexican city of Tijuana Sunday after closing it for several hours.
Some 7,400 of the migrants are now gathered in the Mexican border state of Baja California, in the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali, and tensions had been rising in recent days amid a series of daily protests.