CA Attorney General Considering Legal Action Over Use of Tear Gas at Border


When a hundreds-strong mob of illegal immigrants from the Central American migrant caravan that recently reached Tijuana, Mexico, attempted to rush and breach the southern U.S. border, the U.S. Border Patrol responded to the illicit entries and rock-throwing migrants with pepper spray balls and tear gas canisters, which succeeded in dispersing the mob.

At the same time, the Border Patrol and other U.S. Immigration officials temporarily closed the perpetually busy San Ysidro port of entry for about six hours. The administration of President Donald Trump has made it no secret that it will utilize such tactics again if a similar situation were to arise, and Trump has even threatened to “permanently” close the southern border if the flood of illegal immigrants attempting to gain illicit entry isn’t soon diminished.

Those actions by the Trump administration — and likely the threat to do so again in the future, if not up the ante — has compelled the Trump-hating attorney general of California to threaten legal action against the administration, even as it is unclear if the state even has standing to challenge the manner in which the federal government enforces federal laws.

In an interview Wednesday with Reuters, Democratic California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he is in the process of assessing whether or not the state should take legal action against the Trump administration for the events that transpired on Sunday.

“We have been approached by folks who have expressed complaints,” said Becerra. “We are monitoring what’s occurring.”

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However, and unfortunately for the Trump-haters in California, there may not be much they can say or do legally in opposition to the manner in which Trump’s administration enforces border security, as the federal government has wide latitude and sweeping control over such federal issues as border enforcement and immigration laws.

Nevertheless, Becerra suggested that the state would have cause to intervene legally if it determined that legal state residents had been adversely impacted by the actions of the administration, either through the “use of force” against illegal entrants or the shutting down of the border entry point.

“I can’t act unless the rules are on our side,” Becerra admitted.

Becerra is the son of Mexican immigrants who rose to become a powerful Democratic member of Congress prior to being elected as California’s chief law enforcement official. He was a big player on the House side of the failed comprehensive immigration reform legislation of 2013, which would have granted amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants while paying mere lip service to border security measures that would stop the flow of illegals across the border.

It is also noteworthy that Becerra has clashed with Trump and his administration in the legal realm already, intervening on behalf of illegal immigrants enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that shielded some illegals from deportation — a program Trump has attempted to end the same way it began, via executive action.

Meanwhile, Fox News reported that just days before Becerra threatened legal action against the Trump administration for the manner in which they dealt with the mob of migrants illegally rushing the border, the president had defended those actions and intimated that they would be used again, if necessary.

Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn Monday, Trump said of the tear gas, “They had to use it; they were being rushed by some very tough people. And so they used tear gas. Here’s the bottom line: No one’s coming into our country unless they come in legally.”

He further suggested that while talks were ongoing with the Mexican government as to how best to handle the migrant caravan situation, he nevertheless reserved the right to lock down the border if it proved necessary to guard against illicit entry.

“Mexico wants to see if they can get it straightened out, but we’ve during certain times closed the border. They’re not coming into the United States. They will not be coming into our country,” said Trump.

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Interestingly, while Becerra and other Democrats like him reacted with outrage to what had occurred on Sunday, it was revealed that similar instances had transpired dozens of times during the Obama years, often without even a peep from the liberal media, much less hair-on-fire cries of “tyranny” and insinuations that the president was a monster for doing so, as we have seen ad nauseum this week.

It remains to be seen if Becerra will follow through on his threat to file a legal challenge against the Trump administration over how they handled a migrant mob illegally rushing the border. But odds are he would ultimately lose miserably if he decides to do so, as the law is on Trump and the Border Patrol’s side in this case.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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