A message questioning U.S. border agents' use of tear gas at the southern border was posted outside the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C., this week. 

"I was a stranger, and you tear gassed me. ...Wait a second," the church's outside message board read. 

The building is adjacent to the the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court. 


Warren Gill, a spokesperson for the General Board of Church and Society, the proprietor of the building, told The Hill on Thursday that the group "posted the sign to highlight the disconnect between the words of Jesus and the actions of the U.S. government."

"The United Methodist Church has made clear that welcoming sojourners is central to our faithfulness to scripture," Gill said. "I spoke with migrants on a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. People are fleeing authentic and disturbing violence, violence most Americans only see in fiction. ... People are fleeing this violence and were welcomed at the border with tear gas."
Gill added that he believes "Jesus was clear" and that individuals "are called to love our neighbors and protect children."
"We must welcome the stranger. There were barefooted babies at the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend, and the U.S. government threw tear gas at them. It’s shocking, and it’s immoral."
Tensions mounted as a band of thousands of Central American migrants reached the U.S.-Mexico border over the weekend. 
On Sunday, a group of hundreds attempted to cross the border illegally at the city of Tijuana, Mexico. The development led U.S. agents to deploy tear gas after some in the crowd threw rocks and tried to breach a border fence. 
The Associated Press noted that the tear gas traveled "hundreds of yards" and forced some parents to run away with "choking toddlers."
The incident occurred shortly after the U.S. had suspended pedestrian crossings at the San Ysidro port of entry in California. 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE defended the use of force at the border, saying that what was used was a "very minor form of tear gas." 

Customs and Border Protection leaders in San Diego have stated that the use of of tear gas by its agents is under internal review.