Tensions are high at the San Ysidro border where over 5,000 migrants attempt to seek asylum in the United States. These tensions were escalated yesterday as the US authorities fired tear gas canisters into the crowd.
The canisters were fired as some migrants tried to rush the blockade that had been set up at the border. Customs and Border Patrol also claims that some refugees had thrown rocks at agents. No injuries to Border Patrol agents were reported.
Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of Homeland Security, took to Twitter to defend the use of tear gas. She wrote, “This AM, @CBP was forced to close the #SanYsidro POE to ensure public safety in response to a large # of migrants seeking to illegally enter the US. They attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border & sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles @ them”
Nielsen continued with a threat to close the border, “.@DHSgov will not tolerate this type of lawlessness & will not hesitate to shut down POEs for security reasons. We’ll seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our sovereignty.”
This AM, @CBP was forced to close the #SanYsidro POE to ensure public safety in response to a large # of migrants seeking to illegally enter the US. They attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border & sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles @ them
— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@SecNielsen) November 26, 2018
Issues at the border have been significant during Nielsen’s tenure. She was widely criticized for Homeland Security’s decision to separate families at the border.
While Donald Trump has yet to discuss the use of tear gas, he did double down on his claim that the migrants are dangerous. He took to 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!”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.