Trump Defends Border Patrol’s Use Of Tear Gas

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump defended the U.S. Border Patrol’s use of tear gas against members of the migrant caravan who attempted to rush the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday evening, before departing for a campaign rally Monday at the White House.

“They had to be used, because they were being rushed by some very tough people. And they used tear gas. And here’s the bottom line. Nobody’s coming into our country, unless they come in legally,” Trump told reporters. The president was asked whether he was comfortable using tear gas against children, who were present within the horde that rushed towards the border.

The nearly 500 migrants charged the border in several different areas in attempts to illegally gain entry into the U.S., leading to a shutdown of the busiest port of entry between the U.S. and Mexico. The Mexican government then announced Sunday that it would deport the offenders who had to be repelled.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a Sunday statement that “CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] was forced to close the San Ysidro Port of Entry to ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.”

“After being prevented from entering the Port of Entry, some of these migrants attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them,” the statement continued.

Border Patrol agents present at the scene said in interviews Monday that the migrants were using women and children as human shields as they launched rocks at agents.

“They use women and children regularly,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd told The Daily Caller on Monday, confirming that “several” border patrol agents were struck by projectiles Sunday.

Judd explained that the situation at the border Sunday was “unprecedented” and that migrants had never tried before to rush a port of entry. The Border Patrol veteran explained that illegal immigrants often abandon woman and children while being chased by authorities, knowing that they will hinder officers while they abscond.