California’s top law enforcement official on Wednesday said he is evaluating whether the state can take legal action over the Trump administration’s use of force against a migrant caravan and threats to close the U.S.-Mexico border.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra told Reuters in an interview that the state could have cause to step in if a state resident was being affected.
“We have been approached by folks who have expressed complaints,” Becerra said. “We are monitoring what’s occurring.”
Over the weekend, some of the migrants were videotaped throwing projectiles across the port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., while others apparently tried to breach fencing, resulting in the U.S. Border Patrol using tear gas. Inbound and outbound traffic there was locked down for approximately six hours in response.
However, Becerra told the outlet that he “can’t act unless the rules are on our side.”
The federal government has sweeping control of the border and immigration administration, which limits California’s ability to take action against the use of tear gas or border closures.
Meanwhile, President Trump has defended U.S. Border Patrol authorities for using tear gas to repel the crowd of caravan migrants who rushed toward the border.
"They had to use it; they were being rushed by some very tough people," Trump said. "And so they used tear gas. Here's the bottom line: No one's coming into our country unless they come in legally."
Department of Justice officials told Fox News Wednesday that the agency is sending 33 DEA agents and 10 U.S. Marshals Service personnel to the Southern California border region, the same region where migrants and border agents clashed, to provide assistance.
Fox News' Gregg Re and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.