HF Statement on U.S. Government Firing Tear Gas at Migrants Seeking Asylum

November 27, 2018 (New York, NY) - HF President José Calderón issued the following statement in response to the U.S. government’s firing of tear gas at migrants seeking asylum at our southern border.

“This past Sunday was a dark day in our nation’s immigrant history. The images of defenseless, weary migrants, including many women and children, being tear-gassed by federal immigration enforcement agents were heartbreaking and infuriating. This was a shameful display of cruelty and callousness by the Trump Administration. The migrants approaching the U.S.-Mexico border have the legal right to request asylum for themselves and their families. The United States also has the legal infrastructure to adjudicate these claims quickly and fairly without resorting to the spectacle of violence to which the world was treated on Sunday.

Let’s be clear, for weeks President Trump has sought precisely this sort of confrontation. He understands fully that his ongoing assault on immigrants appeals to the white nationalist elements of his political base. But even for an administration as morally bankrupt as this one, the use of riot-control tactics and tear gas is a new low. The President didn’t just needlessly terrorize men, women, and children, he sent a message that America would no longer honor its obligations under national and international law. Requesting asylum is not a crime and the President’s attempt to criminalize the process is completely unacceptable.

Hispanic Federation will continue to work with hundreds of organizations across the nation to defend the rights of all human beings, and ensure that America appropriately honors its history and values as a nation of immigrants.”