The liberal media is outraged right now because US Border Patrol agents have used tear gas to repel the “migrant caravan” that’s trying to break through our southern border this week. TV and newspapers are full of pictures of women and kids reeling from the gas, and it’s being portrayed as a brutal over-reaction by the Trump administration against helpless, peaceful asylum seekers trying to claim their legal right to sanctuary. Trouble is, this isn’t exactly how things are.
• First, these people are not asylum seekers. Most of these migrants come from Honduras, and the rest from El Salvador and Guatemala. None of these are great places to live compared to the USA, but they’re all democracies with pretty good economic growth. The asylum system is meant to give refuge to people fleeing persecution, like Jews in Syria, political dissidents in communist countries or gays in Iran; it’s not there to help people who just want to earn more and won’t make the effort to come to the USA legally. These migrants have no right to sanctuary in this country.
• This isn’t an over-reaction by US agents. The migrant caravan illegally entered Mexico from Guatemala on October 20. Its leaders attacked Mexican border guards, pelting them with rocks and tearing down barriers. The Mexicans used tear gas to halt the attacks, just like our own guards did this week.
• This isn’t real migration. This “migrant caravan” isn’t a spontaneous thing by a group of innocents; it was organized by Pueblo Sin Fronteras – “People without borders” – a leftist group that seems to be mostly based in Tijuana and California. The group’s leader, Irineo Mujica, is with 5,000 migrants in Tijuana right now. He told AP on Monday that “We can’t have all these people here.” Exactly – so why did he bring them there?
• The “Migrants” aren’t peaceful. The US and Mexican governments both say that the caravan contains several hundred gang members and career criminals. There was already an attack on Mexican border guards, which left at least six of them injured. And anyway, if someone’s first act when they reach your border is to attack your security forces, are they really the kind of person you want to let in?
• Women and children were used as human shields. The media are talking like our Border Patrol just started throwing gas grenades into a crowd of mothers and babies. That’s not what happened at all. The attack on the US border fence was made by several hundred men, who attacked US and Mexican officers with rocks and bottles. Border Patrol agents say they saw these men push women and children to the front, using them as human shields.
• San Diego Border patrol sector chief Rodney Scott said, “What I find unconscionable is that people would intentionally take children into the situation.” He’s right. The Geneva Convention says that if you use human shields, you – not whoever is fighting you – is responsible for what happens to them. Yes, kids were exposed to tear gas on our southern border this week, but the USA, our Border Patrol and our President aren’t the ones to blame.