Latino civil rights group condemns use of tear gas at Mexican border

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on a crowd of migrant refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, which President Trump has defended as a necessary use of force. 

Trump on Monday downplayed the incident as involving “a very minor form of the tear gas itself” and argued “it’s very safe.”

Trump blamed parents for “running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it’s going to be formed.”

{mosads}Domingo Garcia, the national president of LULAC, the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights group for Hispanic Americans, strongly disputed Trump’s characterization. 

“These children were not anywhere near the CBP agents and did not in any way pose a threat to them,” he said in a statement, referring to Customs and Border Protection. 

 “LULAC strongly protests these actions against desperate, unarmed civilians,” he said.

Garcia is demanding that Congress conduct investigations next year to find out whether border agents violated agency policy.

“If violations of CBP policy are uncovered, those responsible should be held accountable. In the meantime, we are urging the Administration to demonstrate restraint and allow the refugees to apply for asylum,” he said. 

Garcia said the Trump administration is in violation of the temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar last week against Trump’s asylum proclamation earlier this month that blocked members of the migrant caravan from entering the country.  

“The judge effectively blocked the government from denying asylum to those crossing over the southern border between ports of entry even if they entered illegally. Yet, they are being met with tear gas and rubber bullets in open defiance of the court,” Garcia said. 

The judge ordered the administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants regardless of how they enter the United States. 

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