U.S. Border Patrol agents used tear gas on a group of migrants, including women and children, who tried to cross a border fence near Tijuana illegally on Sunday. While some people are outraged at this, one person who’s not is U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Nielsen tweeted on Monday that the U.S. would “not tolerate this type of lawlessness” after the migrants allegedly threw rocks at U.S. agents and stormed a fence at the San Ysidro port of entry.
.@DHSgov will not tolerate this type of lawlessness & will not hesitate to shut down POEs for security reasons. We’ll seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our sovereignty.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) November 26, 2018
However, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz tweeted that “anyone uncomfortable with spraying tear gas on children is welcome to join the coalition of the moral and the sane.”
Anyone uncomfortable with spraying tear gas on children is welcome to join the coalition of the moral and the sane. We can argue about other stuff when we’ve got our country back.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) November 25, 2018
And the incoming Democratic governor of California, Gavin Newsom, tweeted, “That’s not my America.”
These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas.
Women and children who left their lives behind — seeking peace and asylum — were met with violence and fear.
That’s not my America. We’re a land of refuge. Of hope. Of freedom.
And we will not stand for this. https://t.co/1APpeHIq6v
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 26, 2018
Hmm, Newsom’s America sounds infinitely better than the one we’re currently living in, because yes, we just tear gassed kids.
A little backstory:
The situation began peacefully on Sunday, when hundreds of migrants protested, walking toward the border and chanting, “We aren’t criminals! We are hard workers!” They do, legally, have the right to apply for asylum in the U.S.
“U.S. agents shot the [tear] gas, according to an Associated Press reporter on the scene. Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem.” https://t.co/770ugk8ScM
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) November 25, 2018
The protesters were met by Mexican police armed with riot gear and shields, but a group of a few hundred managed to break through and attempted to rush the fence on the American side. That’s when U.S. border patrol agents broke out the tear gas, according to AFP.
One woman passed out during the attack by border patrol, and at least two babies suffered, crying from the gas, per Reuters.
Joseph Garcia, 32, of Honduras, told Reuters, “They want us to wait in Mexico but I for one am desperate. My little girl is sick and I don’t even have money for milk. I can’t stand it anymore.”
On Monday, President Trump tweeted that Mexico should send the migrants, whom he referred to as “stone cold criminals,” back from whence they came.
Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2018
Trump also threatened to “close the Border permanently if need be,” and demanded that Congress fund his ridiculous wall.