May 25, 2022

Trump’s border patrol just violently attacked women and children seeking asylum at the border

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President Trump’s self-fulfilling prophecy about chaos on the border with Mexico came true today after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) shut down the heavily trafficked border crossing at the San Ysidro port of entry near San Diego on the busy Thanksgiving weekend as travelers attempted to return from holiday visits.

The CBP closed the border after President Trump threatened to do so in a tweet yesterday.

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After the chaos, confusion, and traffic that the border closing caused among the people attempting to legally enter the country, the situation escalated when CPB began to fire canisters of tear gas when a few immigrants — frustrated by their inability to cross the border and legally present their asylum claims as mandated by federal law and international treaties — tried to scale a recently reinforced fence separating the two countries, according to a report from The Associated Press.

The tear gas was blown well over the border into Mexico and was seen to be choking many immigrants who were not among those attempting to scale the fence.

AP’s Mexico correspondent, Chris Sherman was on the scene and posted his account of the events on Twitter.

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Photos posted on social media showed women and children caught up in the cloud of burning tear gas.

The militarization of the border under President Trump’s direction reflects the depth of the president’s refusal to obey court rulings that have declared his denial of access to the mandated asylum process for immigrants who cross the border illegally was in violation of a “clear command” from Congress to allow them to apply.

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“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar of San Francisco wrote last week in striking down Trump’s immigration order. Tigar ruled that “failure to comply with entry requirements such as arriving at a designated port of entry should bear little, if any, weight in the asylum process.”

Trump’s xenophobia is apparently strong enough that he is willing to risk a constitutional crisis by defying the judge and challenging anyone to stop him from doing whatever the hell he wants in a harbinger of authoritarian rule.

The president is gambling that he can gain political capital with his bigoted base by manufacturing a phony crisis and presenting himself as the only one tough enough to provide the solution to the made-up emergency. Meanwhile, refugees of violence that is largely the result of U.S. foreign policy failures in their home countries are suffering as Trump plays golf and lounges with his billionaire friends at Mar-a-Lago.

While the problems surrounding illegal immigration are real, Trump’s draconian solutions are definitely not the solution. A much more worthwhile and cost-effective approach would be to work with the governments of the countries the immigrants are fleeing to resolve the violence that is driving them to seek asylum in the first place. That’s a solution that would be a win-win for everyone.

If only we had a president intelligent enough to implement it instead of responding to the issue with a hostile, bellicose, and racist nationalism that benefits no one and nothing except his own self-image.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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