2018.11.26 - Yesterday, the U.S. Border Patrol deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against people from Central America seeking asylum at the border, including children. In response to this development, Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, issued the following statement:

We condemn the actions of the Trump administration in the strongest possible terms.  The images of children and parents crying, their eyes stinging from tear gas, are now seared into our national conscience.

While the administration will surely continue to exploit, distort, and exacerbate this situation at every turn, we cannot lose sight of the fundamental principle that is at stake. When people are running for their lives, we should welcome them with compassion and respect for human rights.

History is full of horrific examples of what happens when people turn their backs on those fleeing violence and repression. People requesting asylum at the border are seeking freedom, opportunity, and the chance to keep their family safe here in the United States.

The federal government’s actions yesterday were unprecedented and violate international and American law. They are the bitter fruit of a long pattern of abuse by authorities at the border. Border patrol agents have amassed a frightening track record of misconduct, including harassment and deaths, with precious little accountability.

We cannot allow our commitment to fundamental human rights and shared values to be undermined by the reckless Trump Administration.  Now is the time to raise our voices for dignity, compassion, and common humanity.