Canny's sentiment was echoed by Lawrence E. Couch, the director of the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
In a statement, Couch said the use of tear gas on the caravan represented a "sharp escalation" of the immigration crisis.
"When we start to tear gas women and children, we know we have gone down the wrong road," said Couch, calling it "our duty and moral imperative to protect and welcome our brothers and sisters."
Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, defended on Sunday the agency's response. In a statement released on Twitter, McAleen said that the situation was "extremely dangerous" and involved over 1,000 members of the caravan.
"(Sunday)'s incident involved large groups of migrants ignoring and overwhelming Mexican law enforcement, then attempting to enter the United States through vehicle lanes at San Ysidro and El Chaparral, and then through breaches in the international border fence between ports of entry," said McAleenan.
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Some members of the group assaulted agents and officers, he said. Four agents were hit with rocks thrown by members of the crowd, but none were seriously injured due to protective gear.
While the use of tear gas Sunday attracted strong media coverage and reaction, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has deployed the measure multiple times in recent years. Between the years 2012 and 2016, tear gas was used 79 times along the border.