Chaos reigned at the border on Sunday after a group of 500 caravan migrants broke through a line of Mexican law enforcement officers, forced their way through a flimsy section of the border fence, and started pouring through to U.S. soil.
Women and children were pushed to the front of the mob as shields, Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodney Scott reported, as men threw rocks at U.S. Border Patrol officers. Vastly outnumbered, the officers launched tear gas at their attackers. The non-lethal gas spread through the crowd, sending people running in all directions.
A particular image of a woman running with two young kids caught the nation’s attention and was focused on by the mainstream media.
This photo of a woman, clutching two children as they ran from a smoking tear gas canister, spread rapidly online https://t.co/WOw1BYwppd
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 27, 2018
During a White House press conference on Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about what happened.“Over the weekend we saw some powerful images of children — as well as adults — who were affected by tear gas fired by U.S. officers along the U.S.-Mexico border,” a reporter began. “We heard the president talk about that yesterday, but one thing we did not hear from him was any regret that there were children caught up in this.”
This is Sara Ramos – she went to yesterday’s march b/c she was told it would be a peaceful one – but her and her sons were hit by tear gas and had to return back to the shelter. She says they won’t leave their tent again…”I won’t risk my children” #MigrantCaravan pic.twitter.com/MJE4pbAbW7
— Annie Rose Ramos (@Annie_Rose23) November 26, 2018
“Does the White House regret that children were affected by tear gas?” he asked. “And is there an investigation underway to prevent this from happening again?”
Sanders replied, “Certainly the White House would never want children to be in harm’s way in any capacity whatsoever. However, that is why we are continuing to encourage people to follow the law and go to ports of entry.”
In other words, it’s not the U.S.’ fault that people are violently storming the border and bringing children into the fray.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 27, 2018
But then Sanders pointed out, “Law enforcement officials have used appropriate, non-lethal force to protect themselves and illegal rush across the border. Let’s also not forget that this is not the first time that non-lethal force like this has been used. In fact, tear gas was used, on average, once a month during the Obama administration for very similar circumstances.”
According to stats that DHS sent me, under Obama – Border Patrol Agents used tear gas, pepper spray more than 500 Times
Where was the outrage?https://t.co/3VU1Vza9fa
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 27, 2018
“In fact, they were actually for far lesser circumstances because they didn’t have the same numbers and the mass rush that we’ve seen in this caravan take place,” she said. “Certainly, no one wants women or children or any individuals to have this happen, which is why we encourage them to actually follow the law and go to ports of entry.”
The mainstream media correspondents immediately shifted to other topics.
Watch that exchange below: