Chief Border Patrol Agent Defends Arrests of Migrants at Southern Border: I Don’t Believe They’re Asylum Seekers

Hannah McKay/Reuters and @NewDay/Twitter

As the caravan of Central American migrants made their way to the San Ysidro port between San Diego and Tijuana on Sunday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers tried stopping people from rushing the border. Now, a chief border patrol agent is speaking out in defense of using tear gas and arresting 42 migrants.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

As nearly 500 migrants tried crossing the southern border “in a violent manner,” the Mexican government took control of the border and vowed to deport any Central American immigrants trying to cross the U.S. border illegally, as IJR News reported.

Hundreds of migrants tried to gather and apply for asylum in the United States — mostly Honduran migrants were fleeing poverty and violence, who were told to wait in Tijuana until they could request asylum.

However, groups grew frustrated after realizing they wouldn’t receive permission, so they headed toward the border fence — with U.S. CBP responding with tear gas.

“Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego. Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety. Several agents were hit by the projectiles,” U.S. CBP wrote on Twitter.

Hannah McKay/Reuters

Chief Patrol Agent of the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector explained on CNN that the officers at the border emitted tear gas because they were threatened by people entering illegally.

Rodney Scott said on CNN: “What I saw on the border yesterday was not people walking up to Border Patrol agents and asking to claim asylum … If they were truly asylum seekers, they would have walked up with hands up and surrendered, and that did not take place.”

He defended the use of tear gas and arresting 42 people during the chaos at the southern border:

“I kind of challenge that it was a peaceful protest or that the majority of these people were claiming asylum.”

According to Scott, as more immigrants gathered, some throwing debris and rocks at the agents, the officers had to respond “to protect themselves and to protect the border.”

Scott responded to the question about using tear gas on women and children:

“What we saw over and over yesterday was that the group, the caravan, would push women and children towards the front and then, basically, ‘rocking’ our agents … We tried to target specifically the instigators, specifically those assaulting the agents, but, as you saw from the video, once that chemical is released, it does go through the air.”

Watch the videos below:

Even though Scott and the CBP don’t do the asylum process as their job, he was asked by CNN if his job would be made easier if there were a “smoother, a more stream-line, a quicker asylum nation process.”

Scott explained that they’ve made Congress aware of possible fixes to the immigration policy, adding that the CBP is at capacity.

“It doesn’t matter what port you go to, where you’re at, we’re are already resting at 2,000 people a day … Any additional resources that we assign to processign asylum seekers literally slows down the economy of the United States.”

Watch the videos below:

President Donald Trump has pushed for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

As the caravan got closer to the southern border, the president took to Twitter to explain that he was willing to shut down the southern border.

“If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border.”

Most recently, Trump reiterated his threat to close the entire southern border “if need be” — while telling Congress once again to “fund the WALL!”

The border was closed for most of Sunday due to the chaos and the caravan “violently” and “illegally” trying to cross the border, the Mexican government said in a statement — adding that they would deport those who were involved.

On Thursday, President Trump warned of a possible government shutdown if Congress fails to provide funding for the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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