The chief Border Patrol agent for the sector of the southern border that was the target of Sunday’s rush by illegal immigrants to force their way into the U.S. said the migrants trying to storm the border were hardly peaceful.
And he said it in no uncertain terms.
“What I saw on the border yesterday was not people walking up to Border Patrol agents and asking to claim asylum,” said Rodney Scott, chief patrol agent of the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
“If they were truly asylum seekers, they would have walked up with hands up and surrendered, and that did not take place,” he said.
Scott noted that 42 people crossed the border illegally and were arrested by Border Patrol agents.
Scott said migrants threw rocks and debris at agents in riot gear, which led to the American response. Some liberal groups, like the ACLU, said the agents were wrong to use tear gas.
The migrants at our southern border include mothers and small children exercising their legal, human right to seek asylum.
— ACLU (@ACLU) November 26, 2018
“I kind of challenge that it was a peaceful protest or that the majority of these people were claiming asylum,” Scott said.
Scott said the migrants put women and children to the front of the crowd as human shields while others behind them threw rocks at Border Patrol agents.
“What we saw over and over yesterday was the group, the caravan, would push women and children towards the front and then, basically, ‘rocking’ our agents,” he said.
“I kind of challenge that it was a peaceful protest or that the majority of these people were claiming asylum,” says the Chief Patrol Agent, San Diego Sector Border Control, explaining the decision to use tear gas. “42 crossed the border and were arrested” https://t.co/w67XCL3JqD pic.twitter.com/BkuMJSswl7
— New Day (@NewDay) November 26, 2018
Scott said that, tactically, there was almost no way to respond to the violent migrants without impacting others mixed in with them.
“We tried to target the instigators, specifically those assaulting the agents, but once that chemical is released, it does go through the air,” he said.
President Donald Trump has said that if violence continues, the U.S. may close the border. That position was defended by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
I support President Trump’s decision to close the border until we can get a handle on the chaos created by the broken laws governing asylum.
We must have money for border security/wall and must change asylum laws.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 26, 2018
“I support President Trump’s decision to close the border until we can get a handle on the chaos created by the broken laws governing asylum,” Graham wrote in a Twitter post. “We must have money for border security/wall and must change asylum laws.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.