A former border agent defended the U.S. Border Patrol’s use of pepper spray against Central American migrants at the Mexican border with the United States, downplaying the controversy by arguing that the chemical compound is edible and a fine nachos accouterment.
“To clarify, the type of deterrent being used is OC pepper spray. Literally, water, pepper with a small amount of alcohol for evaporation purposes,” Ronald Colburn told the Fox & Friend’s host Steve Doocy.
Colburn, who now heads the Border Patrol Foundation, then argued that the crowd-dispersing agent could be consumed with food.
“It’s natural. You could actually put it on your nachos and eat it. It’s a good way of deterring people without long-term harm,” he said.
On Fox & Friends, Border Patrol Foundation president defends pepper spraying latinx migrants because “it’s natural. You could actually put it on your nachos and eat it.” pic.twitter.com/QLdQXqqNno
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) November 26, 2018
“It looks like [Mexican officials] are trying to review videotape and figure out who some of these people were who stormed the border and they’re going to deport them back to their country of origin,” Doocy told him, unfazed by the Nacho reference.
In May, Colburn claimed without evidence that a migrant “caravan” headed toward the U.S. through Mexico was filled with “criminals” and “pedophiles.”
The Associated Press reported that U.S. Border Patrol agents shot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border at the San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and California.
A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, runs away from tear gas in front of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, Mexico.
(📷: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters) pic.twitter.com/pz7hkxsN9g
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 25, 2018
The AP reported that the breeze carried the tear gas “hundreds of yards,” causing parents to run away with their “choking toddlers.”
“We ran but when you run, the smoke smothers you more,” a woman from Honduras told the news service.
US Border Patrol has just launched tear gas into Mexico. Breeze carrying it hundreds of yards. Parents running away with choking toddlers. #migrantcaravan
— Chris Sherman (@chrisshermanAP) November 25, 2018
The L.A. Times reports:
Board Patrol officials said they used the tear gas after migrants threw objects at them. The gas was used to “dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety. Several agents were hit by the projectiles,” the agency said in a statement.
The dramatic images of the clash were already being used by the various sides of the immigration debate. Backers of President Trump’s crackdown said the events showed the need to secure the border, while some critics said they were disturbed to see tear gas used on the group, which included some children.
BREAKING A girl from Honduras, part of the migrant caravan in Tijuana, Mexico, cries after US agents in California deployed tear gas across the San Ysidro border.
📷 @Reuters/@topixkim pic.twitter.com/sGs4rjG4Oz
— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) November 25, 2018
“Children screamed and coughed in the mayhem of the tear gas. Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of feet away, not attempting to enter the U.S.,” reports The Dallas News. “Yards away on the U.S. side, shoppers streamed in and out of an outlet mall.”
“We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” said Honduran Ana Zuniga, 23, who told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.
So many v tiny children in this mayhem pic.twitter.com/jQSZJG2TCe
— emma murphy (@emmamurphyitv) November 25, 2018
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, condemned the use of tear gas against Central American migrants who attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday.
“Anyone uncomfortable with spraying tear gas on children is welcome to join the coalition of the moral and the sane,” he wrote in a subsequent tweet. “We can argue about other stuff when we’ve got our country back.”
Anyone uncomfortable with spraying tear gas on children is welcome to join the coalition of the moral and the sane. We can argue about other stuff when we’ve got our country back.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) November 25, 2018