Witness Says ‘No Warning’ Before US Border Patrol Used Tear Gas On Asylum Seekers, Kids

A witness says there was “no warning” that the U.S. Border Patrol was going to use chemical weapons, in the form of tear gas, on migrants seeking asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border on Nov. 25.

The American Academy of Pediatrics condemned the Trump administration’s use of chemical weapons on children:

The use of tear gas on children—including infants and toddlers in diapers—goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health.

Pedro Rios, the director of the American Friends Service Committee’s U.S.-Mexico Border Program, told Democracy Now that he witnessed U.S. border agents tear-gassing the migrants:

I was gathered with the number of people on the U.S. side, and we were witnessing as many of the migrants were coming over to the primary fence next to the pedestrian crossing-way in San Ysidro.

Shortly thereafter, Border Patrol agents began firing what seemed to be these gas canisters into the crowd. We heard popping noises and whizzing noises.

We also witnessed how a helicopter flew down low enough to use its rotors to push this plume of smoke, of tear gas into the canal where many of the migrants were gathering and had formed.

It was clearly an aggressive action meant to debilitate all of the people who were there, and my concern especially was for the children who were breathing in these toxic fumes.

Rios also recalled there was no warning before from the U.S. Border Patrol before the tear gas canisters were fired:

The first shot that I heard did not come after any sort of warning. It was very quickly shot. It was one shot that I heard, one bang.

Subsequent shots of tear gas, I did hear some sort of muffled warning or at least a vocal announcement.

I believe that might’ve been some sort of call for dispersement. But the very first one did not follow any sort of warning.

(Source: Democracy Now)

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