Crisis at the Border: Use of Tear Gas

Migrants trying to cross the border got an unexpected surprise when they completed their journey. The groups came from San Pedro to Tijuana, just near the U.S. and Mexican border. They traveled approximately 2,700 miles, which ultimately came to a bitter end.

Just as the families were approaching the border, the patrols sprayed tear gas towards the people, including small children. In these shocking images, the media released kids crying and being pulled away as fast as they could from their parents. Agents deployed tear gas "to protect themselves and to protect the border", Scott told CNN on Monday. "When the threat is to our personnel or to protect others, you've got to do what you've got to do", he said. "What I find unconscionable is that people would intentionally take children into this situation."

I don’t think the administration considered the effects of this powerful gas. “The use of tear gas on children—including infants and toddlers in diapers—goes against evidence-based recommendations, and threatens their short and long-term health,” said Colleen Craft, MD, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in an interview with Forbes Magazine. I am appalled that these children who aren’t old enough to make their own choices are putting their health at risk just by trying to have a better future. Trauma can last a lifetime.

As this issue continues to be debated, I constantly think of a quote that is written on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” It is shocking how much this concept has changed.