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Border Patrol also used tear gas, pepper spray at border under Obama

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tear gas migrants border
Border
patrol used tear gas at the border on dozens of occasions under
the Obama administration.


Kim
Kyung-Hoon/Reuters



  • The Trump administration is currently under fire after
    immigration authorities used tear gas on migrants attempting to
    rush the US-Mexico border at the busiest port of entry over the
    weekend. 
  • But the Border Patrol also used tear gas at the border on
    dozens of occasions under the Obama administration.
  • Since fiscal year 2012, US Customs and Border Protection has
    employed tear gas a total of 126 times. 
  • The use of tear gas by border patrol hit a 7-year high under
    Trump in fiscal year 2018: 29 times total. 
  • Under Obama, immigration authorities also used pepper spray
    at the border, reaching a high of 151 total instances in fiscal
    year 2013 alone. 

The Trump administration is currently under fire after
immigration authorities used tear gas on migrants attempting to
rush the US-Mexico border at the busiest port of entry over the
weekend. 

Many have characterized this as a disproportionate response,
particularly given children were president and were impacted by
the gas. Critics of President Donald Trump have painted the
incident as a unique, cruel aspect of his hardline approach to
immigration. 

But the Border Patrol also used tear gas in incidents at the
border on dozens of occasions under the Obama administration,
according to numbers provided to INSIDER by US Customs and Border
Protection (CBP). 


Read more: Backlash
erupts after the Trump administration fires tear gas at migrants
in clash at the US-Mexico border

A spokesperson for CBP defended the agency’s recent actions in a
statement to INSIDER, claiming it was responding to over 1,000
individuals who were part of the “so-called caravan” who “ignored
law enforcement agencies in Mexico and assaulted U.S. Federal
Officers and Agents assigned to respond to the situation in San
Diego.”

“CBP has been preparing for weeks for events like the one on
Sunday,” the spokesperson added. “We have seen the use of
violence by members of this so-called caravan who have attacked
law enforcement personnel in Guatemala, Mexico and now the US CBP
will consider using all approved and available resources to
protect travelers, caravan members and our agents and officers.”

The spokesperson said CBP “takes Sunday’s employment of
use-of-force very seriously.”   

Tear gas was used at the border dozens of times under Obama, but
its use hit a 7-year high under Trump

The use of tear gas at the border by CBP began in 2010.

Since fiscal year 2012, CBP has employed tear gas a total of 126
times, but its use hit a 7-year high under Trump in fiscal year
2018. 

Tear gas has been employed 29 times in the current fiscal year so
far, according to the numbers provided to INSIDER. 


tear gasUS Customs and Border
Protection

Under Obama, immigration authorities also used pepper spray
frequently at the border, reaching a high of 151 total instances
in fiscal year 2013 alone. 

Overall, CBP has used pepper spray at the border a total of 540
times since fiscal year 2012, the data shows.


Read more:
Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera slams use of tear gas against
migrants: ‘I am ashamed…These are desperate
people’

‘The bottom line is that Trump is bad on immigration and
Obama was bad’

Amid the backlash to the recent use of tear gas at the border,
Trump supporters and some conservatives have pointed to an
alleged double standard in terms Democratic reactions to and
media coverage of the president’s approach to border enforcement
versus his predecessor. 

Immigration experts and lawyers on Monday told INSIDER there are
many fair reasons to critique Obama’s immigration policies, with
some adding the abuses that occurred under Obama’s watch should
not be erased or forgotten. But they also said US immigration
authorities have for years behaved as a
force
unto themselves”
 and they’ve become even more
“emboldened” with Trump in the White House. 


Read more:
Conservatives are zeroing in on Obama’s immigration history to
defend Trump, but experts say that’s a ‘tactic for
distraction

Matthew Kolken, an immigration lawyer based in Buffalo, New
York, said, “Is the Trump administration in practice worse than
Obama? Yes, but we’re not talking about night and day, it’s
shades of gray.”

“The bottom line is that Trump is bad on immigration and
Obama was bad. Neither one of them have done any favors to
immigrant communities,” Kolken told INSIDER. 

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