Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Migrants run as tear gas is thrown by U.S. Border Protection officers to the Mexican side of the border fence after they climbed the fence to get to San Diego, California from Tijuana, Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (Photo: Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP)

'Cruel and Inhumane': Trump Border Patrol Hits Women, Children, and Journalists in Mexico With Tear Gas

"The Trump administration is defying international law and orchestrating a crisis by deliberately turning asylum-seekers away from ports of entry, endangering families who see no choice but to take desperate measures in their search for protection."

Jake Johnson

In what human rights groups condemned as a "cruel and inhumane" act that must be independently investigated, agents with President Donald Trump's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday reportedly hit women, children, and journalists near the U.S.-Mexico border with tear gas, smoke, and pepper spray.

"Using tear gas against men, women, and children seeking protection is cruel and inhumane. There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation into the reported use of tear gas and other agents."
—Justin Mazzola, Amnesty International

According to an Associated Press photographer present at the scene, CBP agents fired "at least three volleys of gas" into Mexico at around 150 asylum-seekers who approached the border in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Contradicting CBP's claim that the tear gas was used to deter migrants who were throwing rocks over the border fence, the AP photographer said rocks were thrown "only after U.S. agents fired the tear gas."

In a statement Tuesday night, Justin Mazzola, deputy director of research at Amnesty International, said CBP's actions should be viewed as part of the Trump administration's sweeping anti-immigrant agenda.

"Using tear gas against men, women, and children seeking protection is cruel and inhumane," Mazzola declared. "There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation into the reported use of tear gas and other agents in this incident. However, this incident needs to be examined within the broader context of US policies at the border."

"The Trump administration is defying international law and orchestrating a crisis by deliberately turning asylum-seekers away from ports of entry, endangering families who see no choice but to take desperate measures in their search for protection," he continued. "These dangerous policies must end immediately. The U.S. must welcome people safely into the country while their asylum claims are reviewed."

CBP's use of tear gas against asylum-seekers on Tuesday marked the second time the agency has fired the chemical into Mexico over the past several weeks alone. As Common Dreams reported, CBP agents fired tear gas across the U.S.-Mexico border in late November, forcing women and children to flee "screaming and coughing."

The Trump administration's use of chemical agents against asylum-seekers comes amid a government shutdown over the president's demand for $5 billion in border wall funding.

While Democratic leaders have thus far rejected Trump's demand for wall money, progressive advocacy groups raised alarm in a letter last week that the Democrats' plan to reopen the government would still provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—which oversees CBP—with substantial funding to carry out the president's anti-immigrant agenda.

"As much as we all desire an end to the shutdown," the groups wrote, "rewarding Trump's DHS with border barrier money is the wrong course of action, especially at a time when its personnel are tear gassing toddlers, separating and detaining families, and presiding over custodial deaths, including those of a seven-year-old girl named Jakelin and an eight-year-old boy named Felipe in Border Patrol custody just this month."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Says End Filibuster to Combat 'Outrageous' Supreme Court Assault on Abortion Rights

"If Republicans can end the filibuster to install right-wing judges to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats can and must end the filibuster, codify Roe v. Wade, and make abortion legal and safe," said the Vermont senator.

Jake Johnson ·


Patients in Trigger-Ban States Immediately Denied Abortion Care in Post-Roe US

Some people scheduled to receive abortions were turned away within minutes of the right-wing Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo