A caravan of immigrants left Honduras and embarked on a journey towards America, in October. They arrived at the U.S. border in November, but were denied entrance into the country.
Thousands of Central Americans are currently waiting on the Mexican side of the U.S. border, attempting to escape war and gang violence in their own countries, according to TIME Magazine.
On Nov. 25, U.S. forces fired tear gas canisters at these immigrants who were protesting at the border.
According to sources at the scene, many immigrants marched while holding signs that read “MR. TRUMP, HELP US PLEASE!”.
A recent shot by photojournalist Kim Kyung-Hoon sparked a world-wide controversy online. The photo, which was featured in TIME Magazine, features a Honduran woman fleeing a tear gas attack with her 5-year-old twin daughters at the U.S. border.
The family in the photo walked away with minor injuries and are still waiting to be granted asylum in the United States. However, others suffered severe injuries, according to Kyung-Hoon from Reuters Photography.
Seeking asylum is not a crime in the United States, and it has never been, so these immigrants should have never been attacked.
While most immigrants protested peacefully, some got into altercations with border patrol officers, causing the officers to retaliate.
Only few of the protesters were behaving violently, but all of them were exposed to tear gas, even the peaceful ones, according to Kyung-Hoon.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tear gas can cause shortness of breath, burning of the eyes, nose, mouth, and skin, and even blindness in extreme cases.
Throwing tear gas at innocent refugees and their children is completely inhumane and unnecessary, especially when the crowd could have easily been controlled using safer methods.
Rather than tear gas, alternative measures could have been used to effectively stop protestors at the border. Said measures, like mounted officers or police dogs, would have been much safer and wouldn’t have endangered innocent children and adults.
As a nation, we must protest these acts of violence that are affecting so many innocent people. Society needs to put politics aside and consider the children, who know nothing about their situation, that are being hurt.
Celebrities like Rihanna and Zendaya have already taken to social media to call these attacks “an abomination” and “terrorism”.
By voicing opposition to these cruel acts, we can stand up for those who desperately need our help, and demand justice for those who were attacked.