President Donald Trump has strongly defending the US use of tear gas at the Mexican border to repel a crowd of migrants and blamed the parents of the children who were caught up in the melee.
Critics denounced the border agents’ action as overkill, but Mr Trump kept to a hard line.
“They were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas,” Mr Trump said.
“Here’s the bottom line: Nobody is coming into our country unless they come in legally.”
At a roundtable meeting in Mississippi on Monday, Mr Trump seemed to acknowledge that children were affected, asking: “Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it’s going to be formed and they were running up with a child?”
He said it was “a very minor form of the tear gas itself” that he assured was “very safe”.
Without offering evidence, he also claimed that some of the women are not really parents but are instead “grabbers” who steal children so they have a better chance of being granted asylum in the US.
The showdown at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing has thrown into sharp relief two competing narratives about the caravan of migrants hoping to apply for asylum but stuck on the Mexican side.
Mr Trump portrays them as a threat to US national security, intent on exploiting America’s asylum law, but others insist he is exaggerating to stoke fears and achieve his political goals.
Source: Irish Examiner