Tear Gas at Tijuana


Photo taken by Kim Kyung-Hoon

Maria Lila Meza Castro and her two twin daughters running from the tear gas.

Jane Fisher, Staff Writer

The correct form of border control has been highly debated during Trump’s presidency, and the United states has resorted to tear gassing protestors.

On Sunday November 25th, a peaceful march at the border of Mexico turned into a violent scene when United States border protection agents began firing tear gas across the border into the crowd. The protestors were of all ages, including small children who’s heath was put at an extreme risk facing the chemical agent. Tear gas itself has been outlawed as a method of war by nearly every country in the world. These laws do not apply to domestic law enforcement officers.

According to NBC news, President Trump believes the tear gas was the safest solution to the march. He claimed that the tear gas was a “very minor form” and was extremely safe. Journalists at the scene of the event claim the tear gas was extremely painful despite the large distance between them.

“Minor form of tear gas?” I felt that stuff burning my face 100s yard away. Most people in the march – parents included – thought it would be a way to plea for help from the US. It may seem naive, but they really had no idea it would escalate or that tear gas would be used,” said Natasha Pizzey, a journalist who was at the scene.

According to CNN, Trump also showed his distaste for parents bringing children to the march when the safety of the children’s health was put into question. He believed some of the people at the border were not parents, but instead were “grabbers” who had kidnapped and taken children with them to improve chances of being granted asylum.

The legality of this situation has been called into question considering The United States fired a weapon at people who were technically in a different country. Professor Geoff Gilbert of University of Essex in Britain claims that despite the country’s right to control who comes into the territory, it does not give authorities the right to fire tear gas into another country. He cited information from the United Nations Charter on the sovereign rights and obligations of member countries. It states that members “shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity.” Even if the protestors had been on United states land, firing the tear gas can violate international human rights standards.

Photo taken by Guilermo Arias
Immigrants and officers both fleeing the scene as the tear gas is just set off.

“No matter what your political alignment, no matter your position on border control, we should all know that these are real people and this isn’t a safe solution,” said senior Michael Berry.

It is hard to hold any official accountable for the legality flaws pertaining to immigration. Mexico has asked for an investigation into the use of the weapon. Even though Homeland security is reviewing complaints, justice concerning the tear gas may never be served.