US

California Floats Threat Of Suing Trump For Protecting Border With Force

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is mulling over the possibility of suing the Trump administration for using force, including tear gas, to protect the border with Mexico.

On Sunday, U.S. Border Patrol agents repulsed migrants with tear gas who wanted to illegally cross into the United States. Becerra told Reuters on Wednesday that some people have apparently complained about the the way that U.S. authorities stopped the migrants.

“We have been approached by folks who have expressed complaints,” Becerra, who is the son of Mexican immigrants, said. “We are monitoring what’s occurring.” (RELATED: Migrant Caravan Tries To Storm Border, US Responds With Tear Gas)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks at the second annual Women's March in Los Angeles, California, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks at the second annual Women’s March in Los Angeles, California, U.S. January 20, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

Hawaii’s Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted his outrage over the tear gas on Sunday, suggesting it was a violation of the chemical weapons convention before deleting the tweet.

But California will have to search with determination to find the means to sue the Federal Government over border control, since that responsibility does not belong to state jurisdiction.

U.S border patrol stand near the border fence between Mexico and the United States as migrants stand near by in Tijuana, Mexico, November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

U.S border patrol stand near the border fence between Mexico and the United States as migrants stand near by in Tijuana, Mexico, November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

California did not sue the previous adminstration of President Barack Obama for using force at the border to repel people crossing the border through non-ports-of-entry. Obama-era Border Patrol used tear gas and pepper spray more than 500 times to discourage illegal entry into the United States. (RELATED: Graham Attacks Trump, Obama Double Standard On Using Tear Gas To Protect Border)

Bacerra suggested to Reuters that California could find an excuse to intervene in the border dispute if a resident of the state is somehow involved in border policy.

“I can act unless the rules are on our side,” he said.

Becerra is a former Democratic congressman who worked on an unsuccessful immigration reform bill. When Trump wanted to revoke the citizenship of immigrant children, the California attorney general inserted himself into that policy debate and opposed the president.

The migrants along the border have been the focus of many unlawful incidents as they travelled through Mexico; the Department of Homeland Security has said there are at least 500 criminals present in the group.

Follow David on Twitter