Over the weekend, a photo taken in on the other side of the border in Tijuana, Mexico made headlines for the inhumanity that was captured in the snapshot.
In it you could see a honduran mother, one of thousands that are part of the refugee caravan, using all her strength to pull her two children away from what seems like smoke coming out of the ground. Turns out the smoke “coming out of the ground” is actually tear gas thrown across the border by U.S. federal immigration agents.
One of the children is running alongside her mother, barefooted, the other clearly being forcefully pulled by her mother with both feet off the ground, neither of the children are wearing pants, just diapers. The images were taken by Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon. Another image taken by Kyung-Hoon shows the same barefoot child crying with her mouth wide open, showing her torment and discomfort.
These images depicts the hard conditions Central American asylum seekers have had to endure in the last weeks. It also shows firsthand the resentment and treatment that Trump and his xenophobic agenda has been inflicting towards these asylum seekers.
“We ran, but when you run, the gas asphyxiates you more,” Ana Zuniga, a 23-year-old Honduran migrant told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter, Valery, in her arms.
According to the Washington Post, Trump officials stated that the tear gas was in response to “hundreds” of asylum seekers rushing towards the border, some of which were throwing “projectiles” at Custom and Border Protection agents.
“We ran, but the smoke always reached us and my daughter was choking,” Lubrin Sarmiento said according to AP.
Not even 24 hours later, Trump is using this incident to continue promoting his border wall that he has been so desperately focused on putting up, no matter the cause. Once again he is using the asylum seeker caravan to push his racist and xenophobic rhetoric that has only resulted in further militarization of our borders.
As more asylum seekers from the caravan begin to arrive at the border, and Trump continues his aggressive and questionable tactics to keep them out, we must continue to hold our government accountable for the inhumane treatment of these asylum seekers and refugees.
This summer Trump set a new low with his zero tolerance policy that inhumanely separated immigrant children from their parents and detained in metal cages like animals. Now, his administration has hit a new low, and they seem to be full steam ahead towards going even lower.