Pro-migration activist groups bitterly denounced the U.S. government’s decision to use tear gas to break up a crowd of migrants who were trying to break through a border fence to get into the United States.
Civil rights lawyer Christian Cowart compared the standoff to the Nazis’ mass murder of Jews:
Immigration lawyer Lindsay Toczylowski tweeted about “Moms shrieking” but remained silent about the many young men trying to get through the border fence.
Pro-migration activist Esmerelda Flores said border security funds would be better used welcoming migrants into the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security explained the decision to use the tear gas: “Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego. Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety. Several agents were hit by the projectiles. The situation is evolving and a statement is forthcoming.”
— ABC News (@ABC) November 26, 2018
The wife of Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown blamed border officers for the tear gas hitting children who were intentionally brought more than 1,000 miles up to the border by their own migrant parents:
Don't let your eyes slide past that: Toddlers. Choking from tear gas launched by U.S. Border Patrol. https://t.co/47zf4mRAE6
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) November 25, 2018
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a statement about “the San Ysidro Port Of Entry Closure,” saying:
“This morning, CBP was forced to close the San Ysidro Port of Entry to ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. After being prevented from entering the Port of Entry, some of these migrants attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them. 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.”
“We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty. CBP, along with other DHS law enforcement, federal law enforcement, the U.S. military and state and local law enforcement, will continue to have a robust presence along the Southwest Border and at our ports of entry to prevent illegal entry or violence. We continue to stay in close contact with Mexican authorities and we remain committed to resolving this situation safely in concert with our Mexican partners.”