'You Could Put It On Your Nachos And Eat It': Border Foundation Boss Defends Tear Gas Use
Over the weekend U.S. border agents fired tear gas at hundreds of migrants near the U.S.-mexico border causing them to flee the area.
U.S. President Donald Trump has renewed his threat to permanently close the southern border where thousands of South American migrants are waiting to seek asylum.
It comes after 42 arrests were made on the U.S. side of the border over the weekend, when dozens managed to breach the fence and wire barrier separating the two countries.
Trump demanded Mexico remove the "flag waving" migrants and send "stone cold criminals" back to their country.
"They had to use [tear gas] because they were being rushed by some very tough people," Trump told reporters on Monday.
The use of tear gas has been widely debated following reports last week that Trump had approved the use of "lethal force" at the border if necessary.
The move gave over 5,000 stationed troops the authority to protect immigration agents stationed along the U.S. border with Mexico.
In a bizarre interview on Fox News, Border Patrol Foundation President Ron Colburn said the tear gas being used was "natural" and a "good way" to deter people without long-term harm.
"You can actually put it on your nachos and eat it," Colburn claimed.
Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott also defended the use of tear gas and said he 'challenged' reports that the protest from migrants was peaceful and that they were, for the most part, seeking asylum.
Scott told CNN that the group at the border "immediately" started throwing rocks and debris and taunting agents over the weekend, forcing officers to release tear gas.
He said three agents were struck by rocks but were uninjured because they were wearing heavy tactical gear.
Scott said eight woman were among the 42 arrested and said "a few children" had been caught up, but the vast majority of those who had made it across the border were men.
One woman was reportedly injured after a pole became impaled in her leg as she tried to scale the wall in front of her young children, U.S media reported.
The U.S. temporarily halted all border traffic on Sunday as hundreds tried to push through blockades before they were hit with tear gas.
Videos uploaded to social media show people. including young children, screaming and running from the area.
Thousands of Central Americans have made the dangerous journey from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador since October.
Busloads of migrants were continuing to arrive last week in the already overcrowded camp sites, after fleeing their homelands to escape gang violence and poverty.
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