All They Did Was Look Across the Border

[Content Note: Nativism; gas attack.]

The mother pictured in the iconic photo pulling her young twin daughters away from billowing tear gas at the southern border spoke to BuzzFeed's Adolfo Flores about the terrifying moment. Maria Meza, 39, of Honduras told Flores "she was standing by the border fence with her five children when Border Patrol agents fired at least three tear gas canisters at them."
"I felt sad; I was scared. I wanted to cry. That's when I grabbed my daughters and ran," Meza told BuzzFeed News. "I thought my kids were going to die with me because of the gas we inhaled."

The photo, taken by Kim Kyung-Hoon of Reuters, shows the single mother running from the gas in the Tijuana River bed, clutching her twin daughters' arms.

The image was used across the world to illustrate the chaotic scene at the US–Mexico border when what had been a peaceful march turned to chaos in minutes.

...Customs and Border Protection, the agency responsible for border law enforcement, said it fired tear gas and pepper balls at the crowd after some people tried to cross into the U.S. through an opening and threw objects at border agents, including rocks.

Meza said she didn't try to cross and was only looking across the border with other members of the caravan when the tear gas was launched.
All they were doing was standing there, looking across the border into a country they hoped would provide them refuge from violence and hunger. And instead, Meza and her five children got gassed.

She told Flores, "I hope God will help me enter [the U.S.] with these kids because we're suffering. I'm a single mother who wants to provide for my children."

It's staggering to think how many people like Maria Meza and her children we could have aided with the $200 million Donald Trump will spend by the end of the year deploying the military to keep them out.

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