Eva Longoria, John Legend & More Condemn Trump Administration Over Use of Tear Gas at the Border
By Zach Seemayer
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, Mario Tama/Getty Images
Chaos and horror unfolded on the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday when the United States Customs and Border Protection agency fired tear gas on migrants seeking asylum, following the border's closure in San Diego.
As photos and videos of the attack surfaced, depicting mothers and children fleeing in terror, the images spread quickly on social media, along with widespread condemnation of President Donald Trump, who authorized and later defended the aggressive measure.
Some of the most outspoken politically-minded celebrities joined the chorus of voices denouncing the tear-gassing, with some going so far as to call for Trump's impeachment over his handling of the migrant situation.
Eva Longoria, who recently welcomed her first child in June, shared her pained reaction to the disturbing images in an emotional post on Instagram.
"This is not who we are as Americans. Throwing tear gas at children? These are not criminals. These are families seeking shelter. Of course we have to protect our borders, but we should be using those resources to protect our country against terrorists. This is a baby IN A DIAPER. What are you thinking @realdonaldtrump ?? These are human beings." Longoria wrote. "I beg you to treat them with compassion and treat them with dignity."
"They are fleeing drug torn countries that is historically due to an instability that WE caused. These are children and mothers seeking refuge," she added. "This photo has broken my heart and my belief in humanity."
"These asylum seekers should be welcomed to our country and President Trump should be sent to prison," comedian Kathy Griffin wrote on Twitter, alongside some of the more heartbreaking photos to emerge from the mayhem.
George Takei shared similar sentiments, warning of what he believes are Trump's long-term machinations.
"Make no mistake: Trump is testing whether he can get away with things like firing tear gas at young children. He is hoping these images harden his supporters to even worse acts to come. And he is banking on racism to get his way," the 81-year-old actor wrote. "We must oppose and condemn this. NOW."
Make no mistake: Trump is testing whether he can get away with things like firing tear gas at young children. He is hoping these images harden his supporters to even worse acts to come. And he is banking on racism to get his way. We must oppose and condemn this. NOW.
Resounding criticism also came from Trump's political opponents in Washington, with some of his staunchest rivals coming forward with emotional posts pleading for change, reason and peace.
"Mothers and their children walked hundreds of miles and fled unspeakable horrors in the hope they would find asylum here in America. Instead of being met with compassion, they were tear gassed," wrote Sentator Elizabeth Warren. "This is wrong. It's immoral. We should be better than this."
Mothers and their children walked hundreds of miles and fled unspeakable horrors in the hope they would find asylum here in America. Instead of being met with compassion, they were tear gassed.
NBC News producer Annie Rose Ramos took to Twitter to share stories from the migrants who were bombarded with the chemical agent over the weekend, including an interview with the mother in the now-infamous photo, who was desperately trying to protect her children from injury at the hands of the U.S. Border Patrol.
"This is the Mom in that photo. Her name is Maria Mesa and she says she was scared for her life and the life of her children yesterday," Ramos wrote, alongside a photo of the woman clutching a canister of gas that was fired near her and her family. "Holding the tear gas canister, she said seeing the photo of her from yesterday makes her want to cry. 'I just grabbed my kids and ran.'"
This is the Mom in that photo. Her name is Maria Mesa and she says she was scared for her life and the life of her children yesterday. Holding the tear gas canister, she said seeing the photo of her from yesterday makes her want to cry “I just grabbed my kids and ran” pic.twitter.com/0crStFaasT
Here's how some of the biggest names in show business and politics -- including Rihanna, Sarah Silverman, John Cusack and many others -- reacted to the attacks on social media:
If human empathy isn’t your jam how about this: You will be the stranger in desperate need someday. How do you hope to be treated? When it’s you who is in an emergency situation & instead of aid u r punished for not “following official protocol” https://t.co/vm2sBmV1tE
It should tell us something about her home country that a mother is willing to travel 2,000 miles with her 4-month old son to come here. How we respond when she arrives tells us something about ours. https://t.co/hrsfjh3drv
The little girl pictured is not only unarmed, she’s unshoed. Yet, @realDonaldTrump ordered tear gas be fired against her. If this is not your America stay loud. We are putting out this fire. https://t.co/vqNBmTEPlp
Trump (asked if he was “comfortable” w/children being teargassed): “They’re not...They had to use bec they were being rushed by some very tough people, and they used tear gas." Later asked if he was “okay” w/ using tear gas on children: “We didn’t. We don’t use it on children.” pic.twitter.com/Trz1hZQf2s