AS CHILDREN “PASSED OVER CONCERTINA WIRE”
by Sharon Rondeau
“Last night, an approximately 150 migrants attempted to illegally enter the United States by climbing over and crawling under border fence in San Diego Sector,” the statement details. “Due to CBP’s increased presence, a first group of 45 turned back towards Mexico. Shortly thereafter, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at the CBP agents and officers. Several teenagers, wrapped in heavy jackets, blankets and rubber mats were put over the concertina wire. Border Patrol agents witnessed members of the group attempt to lift toddler sized children up and over the concertina wire and having difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner. Agents were not in a position to safely assist the children due to the large number of rocks being thrown at them.”
Twenty-five people were arrested and taken into U.S. custody, the CBP statement says.
According to a manufacturer, “Concertina wire or razor wire does great damage to people,” “has sharp blades,” and “can cause fatal injuries.”
On Tuesday the AP reported that “the gas was aimed at rock throwers on the Mexican side who prevented agents from helping children being passed over the concertina wire.”
In November, members of the caravan, originating in Honduras in October, were settled in a stadium by officials in the border town of Tijuana until conditions became unhealthy and necessitated a relocation. At that time, dozens of illegals attempted to breach the border fencing at the San Ysidro U.S. point of entry, with some throwing rocks and bottles at border agents.
President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said that members of the caravan will not be allowed into the U.S. On December 20, the administration announced that it had adopted, and Mexico had agreed to implement, a policy whereby asylum-seekers attempting to enter the U.S. can make application and await adjudication of their cases on the Mexican side of the border.
Another caravan with as many as 15,000 people is currently en route to Chiapas, Mexico, according to Mexico News Daily on December 24.
If their asylum applications are approved, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in her December 20 statement, the applicants will be allowed into the U.S. According to the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA), an asylum claim is evaluated on the claim of “credible fear” of persecution for political, religious, societal or other group membership by one’s own government.
During the November incident, a mother attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and not part of the “caravan” was injured after she “fell from the primary border wall onto pieces of rebar on the ground,” according to NBC San Diego.
Nielsen indicated in a visit to the border over the weekend that as a result of the added concertina wire to existing border fencing, “You will not get into our country illegally.”
Currently, parts of DHS are under-staffed because of the partial government shutdown caused by the failure of Congress to pass a new appropriations bill before midnight on December 21. President Trump is demanding $5 billion for the construction or reinforcement of a border wall or fencing, while Democrats are determined not to provide any funding for a border wall.
When the 116th Congress is sworn in on Thursday, Democrats will have the majority and therefore control the committees and agenda of the House of Representatives. The midterm elections saw Republicans retain and slightly increase their majority in the Senate.