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CAIR Condemns CBP’s Tear Gassing of Migrant Activists, Asylum Seekers, Children at Border

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/27/18) — The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents use of tear gas against migrant activists and asylum seekers — including pregnant women and children — at the US-Mexico border.

On Sunday morning, CBP agents fired tear gas, a “flash-bang” grenade, and rubber bullets at a group of migrant activists and asylum seekers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, located south of San Diego. Agents fired after some individuals from the crowd, which had gathered to march to demand asylum and protest the conditions in the migrant shelters in which they had been staying, approached the border.

“Trump’s military-like response targeting refugees exercising their legal right to seek asylum in the U.S. is reprehensible and stands in direct contradiction to our nation’s long history of providing safe-harbor for migrants,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “The use of tear gas against migrants, including children and pregnant women, represents a frightening escalation of the Trump administration’s racist, white supremacist and anti-immigrant agenda.”

On Monday, Trump falsely claimed that the gassing was in response to three CBP agents being “very badly hurt, getting hit with rocks and stones.” That statement was contradicted by CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who stated that CBP agents “effectively managed” the situation and “did so safely and without any reported serious injuries on either side of the border.”

SEE: Politico: Contradicting border chief, Trump claims 3 officers ”˜very badly hurt’ by migrants

Sunday’s incident at the border is the latest in a long string of abuses and rhetorical attacks targeting migrants seeking to legally enter the United States. Earlier this month, Trump sent 5,800 active duty military troops to the border. This morning, Trump threatened to close the southern border permanently.

SEE: San Francisco Judge Bars US From Enforcing Trump Asylum Ban

SEE: Trump Threatens to Close Southern Border Permanently

Earlier this month, CAIR condemned new Trump administration rules that would deny asylum to virtually any migrant arriving at the border and that are based on the same controversial legal justification used for Trump’s “Muslim Ban.” On November 20, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum claims regardless of how an immigrant entered the U.S.

SEE: NYT: Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers

SEE: CAIR Condemns Trump’s New Use of ”˜Muslim Ban’ Justification to Deny Asylum Rights

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. 

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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