Over the past several months, the plight of refugees and migrants has reached monumental proportions. Migrants from around the world have historically fled to America in search of asylum, but modern-day climate change, wars, political turmoil and famine have brought an unprecedented number to our borders in the past few years.
American political leaders have varying ideas on how to deal with this massive human migration. Some suggest that we should close our borders for good, while others argue that we should work towards expediting visas for asylum seekers. There appears to be no middle ground with this issue, so tensions have been steadily increasing. On Monday, hundreds of protesters gathered together to walk towards the Mexican border in solidarity with the massive migrant caravans who continue to flood the border, but Border Patrol agents promptly put a stop to the demonstration. Over 32 faith leaders were taken into police custody with various charges.
According to initial reports, about 300 individuals gathered together at San Diego’s Border Field State Park. The group’s rally was held very close to the border of Tijuana, Mexico, where Border Patrol agents had a standoff with the caravan about a month ago. Border Patrol agents were already on scene and in riot gear when the large group of demonstrators began demanding a more “humane” border.
At one point during the demonstration, protesters wanted to move towards the wall to offer a ceremonial blessing. This action is what triggered a police response. Many of those arrested were handcuffed when they refused to back away from the border wall, which agents were calling an “enforcement zone.” The 31 individuals handcuffed were all charged with trespassing, while only one demonstrator faces charges of assaulting an officer.