J Street is appalled by US officials’ decision yesterday to use tear gas against Central American migrants along the southern US border. The images of migrant families, including women and small children, fleeing in terror and pain from clouds of tear gas underscores the brutality and inhumanity of the Trump administration’s policies towards migrants and refugees. This is a shameful moment for the United States.
It’s clear that the administration’s brutality is motivated in large part by the politics of fear and contempt. The use of tear gas follows on months of near-constant fearmongering and incitement against refugees, carried out by the president and his supporters. It follows on the administration’s disgraceful and inhumane policy of family separations, which has seen children ripped from the arms of their parents.
Under US law, these migrants have every right to seek asylum in the United States. As the descendants of immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, we are outraged and horrified to see a US administration in the 21st century target those seeking a better life and refuge in our country today with practices that recall some of the horrific mistreatment faced by the Jewish people and other migrant groups throughout history.
We will continue to stand with the activists on the frontlines of the fight for migrant rights, and with the vast coalition of organizations advocating for sane, compassionate and welcoming treatment of immigrants and refugees. We urge responsible leaders in Congress to do everything in their power to hold the Trump administration accountable for its ongoing cruelty and abuses against immigrants and asylum-seekers.