According to koodakpress، Mexico has formally asked the United States to investigate American border guards’ recent use of tear gas against crowds of Central American men, women, and children attempting to cross the Mexico-US border. The Mexican Foreign Ministry presented a diplomatic note to the administration of US President Donald Trump on Monday calling for “a […]
According to koodakpress، Mexico has formally asked the United States to investigate American border guards’ recent use of tear gas against crowds of Central American men, women, and children attempting to cross the Mexico-US border.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry presented a diplomatic note to the administration of US President Donald Trump on Monday calling for “a full investigation” into the incident.
On Sunday, some 500 migrants, including women and young children, overwhelmed blockading guards near the border crossing that separates the Mexican city of Tijuana from the US city of San Diego, California.
US Border Patrol agents then fired tear gas and rubber bullets toward the migrants to stop them from crossing the border fence.
“I felt that my face was burning, and my baby fainted. I ran for my life and that of my children,” The Wall Street Journal quoted Cindy Milla, a Honduran migrant with two children, as saying.
A senior US Border Patrol agent, Rodney Scott, however, defended the use of the gas, telling CNN that three of his officers were struck by rocks or debris that also hit and “dented” vehicles. None of the officers was seriously injured, though, he said.
The move prompted outrage and condemnation from high-profile Democrats critical of Trump’s harsh and uncompromising policies toward the migrants. Among those critics, the Democratic governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom, took to Twitter to say tear-gassing kids runs counter to American ideals.
“These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas,” he tweeted. “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.”
The Sunday incident marked an escalation of tensions that have been raised since groups of Central American migrants started a journey from Honduras and Guatemala toward the US.
Hundreds of migrants from Central America in Mexico have gathered around a tense US border crossing.
Trump defends tear-gassing migrants
Meanwhile, Trump on Monday strongly defended the use of tear gas against the migrants at the border, saying that border agents involved in the incident “had to use (force) because they were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas.”
“Here’s the bottom line: Nobody is coming into our country unless they come in legally,” he said.
The US president, however, denied that tear gas had been used against children despite the images and footage of the scene showing otherwise.
“We didn’t. We don’t use it on children,” he told a reporter who asked if it was okay to use tear gas against minors.
Trump once again renewed threats to close the border with Mexico “permanently if need be.” Trump also said many of the migrants were “stone cold criminals.”
His administration considers extending the deployment of troops along the Mexican border beyond their original mid-December end date, The Wall Street Journal has reported.