Date :Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 | Time : 15:41 |ID: 79264 | Print

First Muslim woman in U.S Congress Slams Gassing Of Asylum Seekers

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SHAFAQNA The first Muslim woman in Congress, Ilhan Omar criticized the Trump administration’s asylum policies, tweeting “This is life and death for asylum seekers! This can’t persist. Seeking. Asylum. Is. Legal.”

US agents have fired tear gas at Central American migrants, after some tried to breach the busiest border separating Mexico and the United States.

Officers from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fired or threw the gas after a handful of migrants sought to open a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee. Images showed the migrants – men, women and children – running from the smoke. For a time, they also suspended all crossings at the world’s busiest land border.

Honduran migrant Ana Zuniga, 23, told the Associated Press it was at that point she saw the US agents fire the tear gas, which enveloped some of the migrants. “We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” she told the AP, while cradling her three-year-old daughter Valery in her arms, independent told.

Activists and politicians took to social media to criticize the Trump administration’s asylum policies following the news of using tear gas among crowds that contained a large number of women and children.

The first Muslim woman in Congress, Ilhan Omar tweeted:

“Trump, this is a wicked performance and a rating booster”.

“Stop this hellish show and abuse of power”.

“This is life and death for asylum seekers! This can’t persist. Seeking. Asylum. Is. Legal”.

Meanwhile, Gavin Newsom, recently elected as governor of California, from where the CBP agents fired the tear gas, tweeted a widely shared Reuters photograph of a woman with two young children running from a gas canister.

These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas,” Mr Newsom wrote. “Women and children who left their lives behind – seeking peace and asylum – were met with violence and fear. That’s not my America. We’re a land of refuge. Of hope. Of freedom. And we will not stand for this.”

President Donald Trump responded to the criticism by threatening to shut down the border “permanently if need be”.

Trump tweeted: “Mexico should move the flag-waving Migrants”  Mr

“ Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!”

Critics denounced the border agents’ action as overkill but the US President kept to a hard line.

Donald Trump has strongly defended the use of tear gas at the Mexican border to repel a crowd of migrants that included barefoot, crying children as well as angry rock-throwers, abcnews reported.

“They were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas,” he said.

Mr Trump seemed to acknowledge children were affected but said it was “a very minor form of the tear gas itself” that he assured was “very safe”.

“Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it’s going to be formed and they were running up with a child?” he asked.

Ilhan Omar in an other tweet said:

The people in this caravan are humans.”

“Our political divides stop some from seeing that”.

“Stop people from seeing their own faces, the faces of their children in the crowd”.

“ They aren’t a talking point. They breathe. And they need us to do better”.

Around 5,000 migrants have been camped in and around a sports complex in Tijuana after making their way through Mexico in recent weeks in a series of caravans. Many hope to apply for asylum in the US, but agents at the San Ysidro entry point are processing fewer than 100 asylum petitions a day.

Some of the migrants who went forward Sunday called on each other to remain peaceful. They appeared to easily pass through the Mexican police blockade without using violence.

Tensions over the wait bubbled over this past weekend as a peaceful march to ask for expedited processing turned into chaos as tear gas and pepper spray filled the air.

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