Tear Gassing Central American Migrants Is Inhumane, Unconstitutional, Immoral

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!. I’m Amy Goodman, as we continue our conversation with Reverend Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach. I want to ask you about what is happening at the US-Mexico border. In Tijuana, Mexico, US border patrol officers tear-gassed a crowd of desperate Central American asylum seekers as they tried to push their way through the heavily militarized border with the United States. Among those attacked were mothers and small children who were left gagging and screaming as tear gas spread. The migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador fleeing widespread violence, poverty and mass unemployment. If you could talk to us, Reverend Barber, about what has just taken place? And then you have your own situation in Raleigh where one man took refuge in a church, a sanctuary, and has just been arrested by ICE when he walked outside to go to ICE to be fingerprinted.

REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival — my co-chair, Reverend Doctor Liz Theoharis, we have actually been invited to go to the border in December to meet the caravan and to be there with other leaders, the American Friends and Quakers and other religious leaders. This is beyond tragic. First of all, as you noted, these people are fleeing places that were destabilized, and much of the destabilization happened because of our own military policies in Guatemala during the Reagan years. And nobody wants to talk about that. We created a situation that destabilized people, we supported the wrong people in South America and upheld governments that were oppressive to the people and now many of them are fleeing. And they are fleeing much of what we helped create and then we want to push them — or at least Trump and this administration wants to push them back.