U.S. Border Agents Use Tear Gas on Migrants Breaching the Fence, Trump Prepares to Close U.S.-Mexico Border
The migrant caravan that originated in Honduras and Guatemala is nearing the United States’ southern border and President Trump is preparing to close the shared border with Mexico until the situation is “under control.”
In a news conference last week, President Trump told reporters, “if we find that it is uncontrollable, if we find that it gets to a level where we are gonna lose control or people are gonna start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control.”
A reporter then asked if that meant the entire U.S.-Mexico border would be closed, the President replied by saying, “the whole border,” as he shook his head in confirmation.
President Trump also confirmed that he has authorized the military to use lethal force if necessary, though Trump said he hopes it does not have to come to that.
He said, “If they have to, they are gonna use lethal force. I’ve given the okay if they have to. I hope they don’t have to, but you know you’re dealing with a minimum of 500 serious criminals.” He added, “I’m not gonna let the military be taken advantage of.”
The Associated Press reports that on Sunday, only a few days after the news conference, U.S. agents used tear gas on migrants who were attempting to breach the border fences.
According to AP, in the early morning on Sunday, a group of Central Americans had gathered in peaceful protest by marching down the streets of Tijuana, Mexico. The people were gathered in the hopes that the U.S. would speed up the asylum claims process amid the large number of Central Americans at and approaching the border. Soon, however, as demonstrators neared the border, some saw the opportunity to break through the border fence and bypass the claims processes by illegally entering the country.
As migrants were attempting to breach the border by squeezing through gaps in wire, climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting, AP reports that U.S. officers set off several rounds of tear gas in the crowd. Reportedly members of the group the rushed the fence had also thrown projectiles at border patrol officers.
Though some have seen this move as a necessary step toward controlling the current border crisis, others are outraged by the incident saying that the use of tear gas was unwarranted and illegal.
One Twitter user wrote in support of the tactic writing, “Keep them out, no matter what they do. We will NOT be INVADED, as they say they plan when they reach 20,000.”
Keep them out, no matter what they do. We will NOT be INVADED, as they say they plan when they reach 20,000— Coleah (@Coleah) November 26, 2018
Another opposed it writing, “This…this is literally a war crime. The United States just used an illegal chemical weapon against civilians in an international conflict. …and a huge swath of the country is applauding it, in the name of ‘law and order.’”
This…this is literally a war crime. The United States just used an illegal chemical weapon against civilians in an international conflict.
…and a huge swath of the country is applauding it, in the name of "law and order."https://t.co/hqsFxRWC12— Sexy Spider Jerusalem (@thomdunn) November 25, 2018
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/John Moore/Staff