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Mexican human rights commission condemns U.S. use of tear gas on border

November 26, 2018

Mexico’s National Commission of Human Rights on Monday condemned American authorities’ use of tear gas and force to prevent a mob from overwhelming the U.S. border crossing in San Diego over the weekend, saying it was an “unnecessary risk.”

The commission, which has been advocating for members of the migrant caravan, suggested dialogue between the U.S. and Mexico could prevent a new flare-up.

In a statement the commission said an “adolescent” was injured by the tear gas U.S. authorities fired at the migrants attempting to break through the border.

A large number of the migrants attempted to run through the vehicle traffic lanes at the San Ysidro port of entry on Sunday, while others tried to breach the fences surrounding the port. They also threw projectiles at the border guards.

The mayhem forced officials to shut down the port of entry, causing delays at the country’s busiest land border crossing on a holiday weekend.

The moves drew rebukes from immigrant-rights activists in the U.S. and from leaders of Honduras, who said the people fleeing violence and poverty their country deserved better from U.S authorities.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez called the U.S. response to the migrants’ attempts to force their way into the U.S. “very hostile,” and complained in particular about rubber bullets that he claimed were used on citizens of his country.

He said he had a duty to advocate for his people.

Hondurans make up the majority of caravan members, though Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans have also joined.

In Washington, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Texas Democrat and vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called the use of tear gas “cruel, unnecessary and inconsistent with who we are.”

He said the U.S. should find a way to welcome those pushing through the border without permission, saying they should be given chances to claim asylum and given “necessary resources while they wait.”

Mr. Castro said the broader solution is to pass a bill legalizing illegal immigrants in the U.S.

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