Mayhem consumed the border. For weeks, thousands of migrants have been heading toward the US border from Tijuana into San Diego.
In late November, they finally made it to the border and it erupted into a battlefield. Tear gas rained on families, including toddlers and babies.
People, in hope of starting a new life in the land of opportunity, were beaten down and forced to return to a life that is not safe for them. At least 500 people were part of the migrant caravan. The march was organized from Tijuana towards the border.
They planned on entering through San Ysidro Port of Entry. On their march, they yelled, “We aren’t criminals! We are hard workers!”
Once they cleared the security cordon, the march turned into a run across the border. Most of the migrants are from Honduras with some from Guatemala and El Salvador.
They have traveled through Central America and Mexico to try and seek refuge in America. Some traveled as far as 3000 miles.
As many dashed through the border, 42 managed to cross. However, those 42 were found and arrested for charges such as disturbing the peace.
98 were arrested on the South side of the border by Mexican authorities. There are no reports of anyone successfully crossing the border without any repercussions.
According to the Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, the tear gas was used in response to large rocks being thrown from the Mexican border. Agents in California were hit by these rocks but were not injured due to their protective gear.
The U.S. forces were granted approval to use lethal force against the caravan by President Trump.
Many claimed that rubber bullets were used on the migrants, but McAleenan claims the U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not have rubber bullets in their inventory. He describes that they used “other projectiles”.
Mothers with children at hand were running through clouds of tear gas. Though President Trump denies that tear gas was used on children, photos prove otherwise.
In these pictures, children in Disney princess shirts, bare feet, or in diapers are seen running from the clouds of tear gas. Many migrant accounts describe children choking in their mother’s arms as they flee from the gas. Screams filled the San Ysidro port of entry.
On Sunday, California Governor-elect Gavin Newsom tweeted:
These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas.
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. https://t.co/1APpeHIq6v
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 26, 2018
As of late, Trump has demanded the construction of the wall on the border. Trump’s proposed 5-billion-dollar wall has caused the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
He claims that he will not give up until he receives the funding for the wall. This is all at the expense of thousands being unpaid due to the shutdown.
A chemical weapon was used on families attempting to seek refuge in America. Since the start of Trump’s presidency, tension has begun to build on the border. The crisis on the border was the breaking point.
Seeking asylum is not illegal. We are a nation built on immigrants and using lethal force on immigrants is a violation of human rights.