U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus issued the following statement following an incident in El Paso on October 31, 2022:
“I am monitoring reports surrounding events in El Paso in which several hundred migrants attempted to enter the United States without authorization along the Rio Grande River International Boundary, near downtown El Paso.
During this event, preliminary reports indicate that several individuals became combative and physically assaultive, resulting in the deployment of pepper ball munitions — a less-than-lethal system that agents are trained to use in order to protect themselves and others from attack.
In accordance with the need to ensure any use of force by CBP personnel complies with our policies, CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing this incident.”
A tense and chaotic scene erupted at the U.S.-Mexico border along the Rio Grande in El Paso, as a large group of migrants crossed the border waving Venezuelan and Honduran flags and Border Patrol fired crowd-control projectiles.
Border Patrol has been expelling Venezuelan migrants to Mexico since mid-October and many have found themselves stuck in limbo in border cities. In Juárez, dozens have been sleeping on the south banks of the Rio Grande, hoping for a change in U.S. policy.
A video captured by the El Paso Times on Oct. 31 shows dozens of Border Patrol agents and support personnel forming a line along the border near the Loop 375 overpass south of the Chihuahuita neighborhood and the railroad tracks to push the migrant group back to Mexico. One migrant waves a large Venezuelan flag as he retreats into the low-running river and can be seen jabbing the flagpole towards agents.