CBP Shoots Pepper Balls at Venezuelan Migrants After Agent Struck with Flagpole

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents shot pepper balls at a group of Venezuelans to drive them out of the U.S. during a tense and chaotic scene that unfolded in El Paso near the U.S.-Mexico border Monday. 

The migrants crossed the border and approached agents outside a station under the international bridge. One of the migrants struck an agent with a flagpole, CBP said. 

“On October 31, at approximately 12:20 p.m., a group of Venezuelan nationals attempted to illegally enter the United States while protesting along the Rio Grande River International Boundary near downtown El Paso,” CBP said in a statement. “One of the protesters assaulted an agent with a flag pole, at which time agents responded by initiating crowd control measures. These measures included the use of the authorized less-lethal force pepperball launching system. The crowd then dispersed and returned to Mexico.”

The ACLU criticized CBP for its actions. 

“This footage is highly alarming,” Jonathan Blazer, director of border strategies at ACLU, said in a statement. “People seeking asylum on U.S. soil should be screened for protection, not pushed back, especially through use of force.”

Blazer said the Biden administration “must end its failed attempts to scare people out of crossing into the U.S. through tactics that have led to unnecessary death and suffering, and restore a humane process for seeking asylum.”

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