Yesterday, a group of about 500 attempted to cross the U.S./Mexico border and were met by tear gas and resistance from the border patrol. The group, made up of mostly males, were part of the refugee migrant caravan group that originated from Honduras. Rodney Scott, Chief Patrol Agent with the San Diego Sector Border Patrol, said on CNN that 42 people did successfully cross the border and were arrested. Eight of those people arrested were women.
Images of agents in riot gear, firing tear gas, at the group went viral yesterday, and many of those images included that of women and children crying and trying to escape the gas. Other shots showed men scaling the walls and confronting agents. Scott said on CNN that border patrol agents were hit with rocks but that none of them were injured.
“Asking to be considered a refugee & applying for status isn’t a crime,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “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.”
"I kind of challenge that it was a peaceful protest or that the majority of these people were claiming asylum," says the Chief Patrol Agent, San Diego Sector Border Control, explaining the decision to use tear gas. "42 crossed the border and were arrested" https://t.co/w67XCL3JqD pic.twitter.com/BkuMJSswl7
— New Day (@NewDay) November 26, 2018
Scott questioned if the group that rushed the border were in fact part of the refugee group. He said none of them surrendered with their arms held up, but instead waved the Honduran flag. He also said that there’s lots of issues with the immigration process at the border, and added “we are at capacity.” Because of the clash between the undocumented and border agents, the border in San Ysidro, CA, closed for several hours and has now reopened.
“These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas,” Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor-elect of California, 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.”
While the Trump Administration has offered a “Remain in Mexico” deal that calls for the Mexican government to house the refugee group as they wait for their paperwork to be processed in the U.S., officials in Mexico say no deal is in place.