Activists Slam Gassing Of Asylum Seekers As Trump Threatens To ‘Close The Border Permanently’
The president referred to the seekers as "stone cold criminals."
Over 100 people were arrested, and several hundred were gassed at the border between Mexico and the United States on Sunday.
The United States Border Patrol arrested 69 asylum seekers who attempted to cross the border between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California, on Sunday, according to CNN. Tijuana police arrested 39 additional people. The detainees will be processed and deported to their home countries. The detained asylum seekers were part of a larger group of people who have traveled through Central America and Mexico in hopes of gaining asylum in the United States.
President Trump ordered a military force to take up positions at the border; the secretary of defense said these soldiers would not be armed. Authorities did, however, use tear gas to disperse the approximately 500 people who attempted to enter the U.S. near the crossing, including women and young children, reports CNBC.
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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen justified the patrol’s tactics.
“Some of these migrants attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm [Customs and Border Protection] personnel by throwing projectiles at them,” she claimed. "As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons."
Activists, celebrities and politicians took to social media to criticize the Trump administration's asylum policies following the news of the gas attack.
This is so incredibly shameful. Seeking asylum is not a crime. Shooting tear gas at asylum seekers lacks a basic level of humanity. This is your government. This is our government. Do not look away. https://t.co/AF3g2HOoxN— Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza) November 25, 2018'
Trump, this is a wicked performance and a rating booster.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 26, 2018'
Stop this hellish show and abuse of power.
This is life and death for asylum seekers!
This can’t persist.
Seeking. Asylum. Is. Legal.
“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” God’s LAW. #AsylumSeekers— R O C H E L L E (@RochelleRitchie) November 26, 2018'
The notion that most migrants are criminal is hysterical fearmongering and a lie.— Touré (@Toure) November 26, 2018'
US Border Patrol is reportedly unleashing tear gas on the caravan of refugees, which includes parents & small children.— Women's March (@womensmarch) November 25, 2018'
This is inhumane. The administration can’t even pretend this is to protect borders or enforce the law. These are asylum seekers. Seeking asylum is not illegal.
Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 25, 2018'
It wasn’t for Jewish families fleeing Germany.
It wasn’t for targeted families fleeing Rwanda.
It wasn’t for communities fleeing war-torn Syria.
And it isn’t for those fleeing violence in Central America. https://t.co/qhv7Rr1itn
President Donald Trump responded to the criticism by threatening to shut down the border “permanently if need be” and reaffirmed his plans to build a wall. He also claimed, without proof, that many of the asylum seekers "are stone cold criminals."
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'
According to Al Jazeera, an additional 5,000 asylum seekers and migrants are currently in Tijuana waiting for a chance to present their cases to U.S. border officials.
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