Yesterday (November 25), United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) temporarily shut down the U.S.-Mexico border port of entry at San Ysidro and fired canisters of tear gas at Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S. The thousands of migrants have been traveling on foot for weeks as part of a caravan of people seeking refuge from violence and poverty in their homelands.
CBP wrote on Twitter that agents deployed the tear gas in response to migrants throwing rocks and other projectiles. Reuters reports that 42 people were subsequently arrested. This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has made claims of violence against members of the caravan; ahead of the midterm elections, Secretary of State Mike Pomepo falsely claimed that they were inciting violence and had an “apparent political motivation.”
President Donald Trump responded to the violent treatment of the migrants via Twitter, writing, “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!”
Others took to social media to call out the leaders of a nation that claims it was founded as a haven for tired, poor people “yearning to breathe free.”
The militarized police at Standing Rock used #NoDAPL as a training ground for stopping uprisings and movements with force and “non lethal” weapons. I’m concerned what we’re seeing at the border is just the beginning. (Pics 1 & 2 are ND 2016, 3 & 4 border 2018) pic.twitter.com/lD3LBqprSN
— Dr. Adrienne Keene (@NativeApprops) November 26, 2018
I do not care about the legality of asking for asylum.
I care for the humanity of it.
— aléxandros! (@bodega_gyro_ao) November 26, 2018
— Cat Brooks (@CatsCommentary) November 26, 2018
Border Patrol agents are firing teargas, across a national border, into another country, at refugee children that haven’t even broken any US laws yet.
That’s a massive international human rights violation.
— Denizcan Grimes (@MrFilmkritik) November 25, 2018
TIJUANA— Tear gas & a smoke grenade. Yes, those are two of the canisters. Yes, I know migrants who were gassed. Yes, the US fired onto Mexican soil at women and children. Yes, I’m a US citizen. Yes, I’m a journalist. Yes, I’ve never seen anything like what I saw this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/WGH0CgGMBW
— Patrick Timmons (@patrickwtimmons) November 26, 2018
This really can’t be overstated.
The federal government shuttered a border crossing on purpose to build up a crowd it could then use as an excuse for an engineered respons
This was a manufactured event. https://t.co/xvAG6Grkey
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) November 26, 2018
Due respect Brian: it’s a heinous war crime, but it isn’t even the first one this year directed against children.
Stop pretending the US isn’t genocidal to…basically everyone except cis abled white men. https://t.co/ahXaX1cgFn
— Dr. Katherine Crocker (@cricketcrocker) November 26, 2018
Imagine toddlers literally walking barefoot for 3,000 miles with their parents fleeing violence and oppression, only to be treated as enemies by the country that’s supposed to be the leader of the free world.
You don’t have to imagine. It’s happening.https://t.co/bGnMG0Jlmb
— Anne Frank Center (@AnneFrankCenter) November 26, 2018
Make no mistake: Trump is testing whether he can get away with things like firing tear gas at young children. He is hoping these images harden his supporters to even worse acts to come. And he is banking on racism to get his way. We must oppose and condemn this. NOW.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 26, 2018
They want you to think of them as invading hordes, not as people or families, exhausted and desperate. Don’t take the bait. Learn to see yourself in them. If gangs were extorting, raping, and killing daily in your town, wouldn’t you flee? Do everything you could for your kids?
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 26, 2018
This is how American media would describe this if this happened in a non western country:
“American security forces under the Trump regime used *chemical weapons* in a cross border operation against unarmed asylum seekers, including children. “
My God. https://t.co/LeIGhJmiPn
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) November 26, 2018
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
US Border Patrol is reportedly unleashing tear gas on the caravan of refugees, which includes parents & small children.
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.
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) November 25, 2018
What if instead of sending 5k troops to the border, we had sent 5k caseworkers to review + process visa applications?
In addition to averting moral crisis, it also would‘ve saved enormous amt of resources. But we don’t talk about the financial recklessness of GOP admins, do we?
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 26, 2018
Just look at the photos of children at the border. Armed CBP agents are shooting them with tear gas and rubber bullets. #DefundHate ☎️ CALL Members of Congress and demand they stop giving money to CBP and ICE! 210-702-3059 pic.twitter.com/NSiFEB9TiA
— Movement Voter Project (@MovementVote) November 26, 2018
As people are looking for ways to support migrants and border communities, reposting this thread about where you can support here in the El Paso-Cd. Juárez area. https://t.co/oKfZxAuhWa
— Detainee Solidarity (@dmscelpaso) November 26, 2018