Some Christians are condemning the White House’s “cruelty” after President Donald Trump’s administration protected federal agents’ using tear gas at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Clergy and common people chimed in on social media Monday to express their upset at border agents’ decision to shot tear gas at hundreds of migrants including children as they tried to forcibly breach a fence at the San Ysidro border crossing on Sunday.
The Associated Press reported the wind carried fumes from so many rounds of tear gas to people hundreds of feets away who were not trying to enter the U.S.
Kirstjen Nielsen, Homeland Security Secretary defended her agency’s use of tear gas, stating that the migrants threw “projectiles” at U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
Nielsen tweeted on Sunday that the Department of Homeland Security “will not tolerate this type of lawlessness,”.
According to The Washington Post no severe injuries were reported from the incident.
Viewing Photographs shot by Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon showed a Honduran mother desperately trying to drag two small children away as the tear gas spread. Another photo shows, one of the little girls, who is wearing only a T-shirt and diaper, cries after running from the gas.
The photos and videos from the border forced outrage among progressive Christian leaders and activists. Inspite of Trump’s promise to protect Christians and their values, some indicated that the president hasn’t done a good job in protecting the core Christian value of welcoming the stranger.
Christians went on Twitter and pointed to a Bible passage Matthew 25, which has become a rallying cry for those morally opposed to the Trump administration’s uncompromising stand on immigration. In that chapter, Jesus educates his followers that those who care for strangers and others in need will be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven.
The Trump administration is firing tear gas at asylum seekers (women & children too) to manufacture a crisis & build his wall.
"I was a stranger and you did not welcome me" – Matt 25:43
Jesus was very clear: rejecting the stranger is rejecting God.
(📷: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters) pic.twitter.com/jt3Hin7Xzp
— NETWORK (@NETWORKLobby) November 26, 2018
A Jesuit priest and author, Rev. James Martin, condemned the myths that have led Americans to turn their backs on migrants who have come to the border seeking asylum.
Martin said in a video for the Catholic magazine America “Remember what Jesus said about welcoming the stranger, “He did not say welcome them when they had the right papers. He did not say welcome them when there was zero risk. He did not say welcome them when you could afford it. Jesus said, welcome them.”
The New York Times reported that Just like other federal law enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents are permitted to use force if they think they are under attack. The officers are trained to use tear gas for crowd control.
The migrants involved in Sunday’s incident were a portion of a caravan of not less than 5,000 that is presently stuck in limbo in Tijuana. The migrants are from Central American countries and are escaping from gang violence and poverty in their hometowns.
The New York Times reported many have turned desperate in recently after taking stock of the asylum application process.
The CLU stated that Trump administration has increased border crisis by limiting the legal options available to people seeking asylum and turning migrants away at the official ports of entry. According to the AP, officials are presently processing fewer than 100 asylum applications per day.
Continue reading and see how other progressive Christians express themselves about how the Trump administration is treating asylum seekers at the southern border.
“This is a call for endurance & faith.” We read the Bible wrongly if we don’t read it w/ the immigrant mother & her children, choking on the fumes of Christian nationalism.
— Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (@wilsonhartgrove) November 26, 2018
The little girl pictured is not only unarmed, she’s unshoed. Yet, @realDonaldTrump ordered tear gas be fired against her. If this is not your America stay loud. We are putting out this fire. https://t.co/vqNBmTEPlp
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 26, 2018
Policies which attempt to enact "law and order," but allows for the tear-gassing of children, are unjust and immortal acts, even if they are "legal."
— Yolanda Pierce (@YNPierce) November 26, 2018
To the American soldiers who fired those tear gas canisters, and the ones who gave the orders: you don’t have to do this. You have a choice. You can choose the way of love, the way of Jesus. You are better than what is being asked of you.
— Megan Castellan (@revlucymeg) November 26, 2018
and so many others.