A migrant mom photographed working together with her daughters from tear fuel on the U.S.-Mexico border stated she by no means anticipated the U.S. Border Patrol to fireside fuel canisters at youngsters and households.
After touring north from Honduras and spending per week within the Mexican border city of Tijuana, Maria Meza, 35, set out on Sunday together with her 5 youngsters to say asylum on the U.S. border crossing.
She and a whole bunch of different Central American migrants had been blocked by Mexican police and staged a protest in entrance of the border, some speeding the usfence.
Three tear fuel canisters shot from the U.S. facet landed round Meza and her youngsters, who vary in age from toddlers to youngsters, she stated in an interview at a Tijuana migrant shelter.
“The very first thing I did was seize my youngsters,” stated Meza. A photograph of her clutching the fingers of dual five-year-old daughters Saira and Cheili, as her 13-year-old daughter Jamie runs alongside, has gone viral and sparked offended reactions from some lawmakers and charities.
“I used to be scared, and I assumed I used to be going to die with them due to the fuel,” stated Meza.
READ MORE: Trump says U.S. didn’t tear fuel youngsters at border, regardless of pictures exhibiting it
Her younger son James almost fainted when a canister landed close to him. Meza fell and struggled to stand up amidst the fuel. A younger man gave her his hand and pulled her to her ft.
“We by no means thought they had been going to fireside these bombs the place there have been youngsters, as a result of there have been plenty of youngsters,” stated Meza, sitting in view of the rusted-steel U.S. border fence.
“It wasn’t proper, they know we’re human beings, the identical as them.”
The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety stated U.S. Customs and Border Safety officers had been struck by projectiles thrown by the migrants.
WATCH: Mom in migrant caravan describes working from tear fuel launched at U.S. border
Round 5,200 individuals who traveled in a caravan throughout Mexico are packed into the shelter in a stadium in Tijuana, dwelling in makeshift tents.
President Donald Trump has taken a hardline stance towards the migrants, who’ve made their method north from violent and impoverished Central American international locations. On Monday, he stated Mexico ought to ship them again to their house international locations.
The U.S. Border Patrol stated most of these assembled on the border had been financial migrants who wouldn’t qualify for asylum.
WATCH: Trump says migrant caravan has ‘grabbers’ who take youngsters as safety when speeding border
“I got here right here for one motive, and that’s as a result of there may be quite a lot of violence in Honduras,” stated Meza, as her youngsters performed with empty tear fuel canisters shot by the Border Patrol.
America shut the crossing for a number of hours on Sunday and Trump has threatened to shut the border fully.
“In the event that they shut the border I ask God that right here in Tijuana, or in a foreign country they open doorways to us, to permit me to outlive with my youngsters,” stated Meza.
WATCH: Some migrants resolve to return house days after tear fuel incident