ACLU condemns Texas Border Patrol agents' use of pepper balls against protesting migrants

The ACLU called in the incident 'the latest in a long line of abuses carried out by CBP.'

click to enlarge U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement to the El Paso Times that agents used "less-lethal" force to disperse the group after a migrant assaulted a federal agent. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement to the El Paso Times that agents used "less-lethal" force to disperse the group after a migrant assaulted a federal agent.
The ACLU is condemning the actions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents allegedly caught on video firing pepper balls at a group of Venezuelan migrants protesting along the banks of the Rio Grande River near El Paso.

"This is the latest in a long line of abuses carried out by CBP," the ACLU said in a tweet. "Our government's failed attempts at preventing people from seeking protection in the US lead to death and suffering. The Biden administration must restore a humane process for seeking asylum."

A video published by the El Paso Times on Monday appears to show federal agents approaching the group that was in the process of crossing the river. According to a CBP statement sent to the Times, a member of the group assaulted an agent with a large flag pole.

"A second subject threw a rock causing injury to an agent, at which time agents responded by initiating crowd control measures," CBP said in the statement, adding that the measures included the use of a "less-lethal" pepper ball launching system.

The CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility will review the incident, according to a press release.  Even so, the ACLU condemns the agents' actions, calling the incident "highly alarming."
The Biden administration in October enacted a new policy under which Venezuelan migrants will be immediately returned to Mexico, according to the Texas Tribune. The change is in response to the large number of Venezuelans who have crossed the southern border in recent months.

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