Border Patrol agents were not targeting children when they fired tear gas to disperse migrants at the Mexico-California border, and the use of the chemical was “appropriate and it was justified,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Tuesday.
“The use of tear gas is not a new practice,” the New York Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “The Obama administration used it a lot. To President (Donald) Trump’s point, you as a parent should be more responsible and not be bringing your child into that setting where tear gas has been used in the past and was possibly going to be used again.”
Further, said Zeldin, the Department of Homeland Security has provided examples, such as from the Mexico/Guatemala border “when the caravan has been presenting itself to law enforcement “when they used children as human shields.”
At any rate, the Border Patrol was “targeting those individuals within the caravan with no respect for our rule of law trying to break through our border, throwing rocks and injuring US officials,” said Zeldin. “That is why the use of tear gas was appropriate and it was justified and targeted.”
He also said he agrees with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who said earlier on the program that the nation’s immigration policy must be addressed.
“My message to my colleagues, to any congressional Democrat who voted against the bill is tell us what you want to get to yes,” Zeldin said. “Let’s have a conversation about it.”
However, he claimed that congressional Democrats have not been willing to compromise.
“They made an ask with regards to DACA,” said Zeldin. “The president came back with an offer that provided permanency to 1.8 million DACA recipients and yet the answer that he got back was no. In a way, he ends up negotiating against himself.”