Norma Torres and Juan Vargas Call for Investigation of CBP’s Use of Tear Gas on Migrants
The Trump administration defended its use of firing of tear gas canisters toward migrants in Mexico near a border crossing last month saying it followed regulations, a senior official testified during a Senate Judiciary hearing on Tuesday. But that’s not acceptable to California Democrats Norma Torres and Juan Vargas. They led a group of 19 members of Congress in a letter to the Homeland Security Acting Inspector General John Kelly urging an investigation into the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents’ use of tear gas against migrants at the San Ysidro Border Crossing in California on November 25th. In addition, the lawmakers express concerns that the action may have been in violation of CBP’s use-of-force policy and note its impact on Mexican citizens. “CBP agents at the San Ysidro Border Crossing responded to this situation by firing tear gas canisters at the migrants, affecting an unknown number of men, women, and children, including many who did not engage in any violence. This was a severe response. Tear gas is a chemical weapon, whose use on the battlefield is almost universally banned, that causes watering eyes as well as a burning sensation in nasal passages and throats,” the lawmakers wrote. “Given the seriousness of this incident, we urge you to promptly investigate and determine whether CBP officers’ actions violated CBP’s Use of Force Policy.” Read the full letter here.