An image of a “migrant” mother and her two barefoot, diaper wearing children was emblazoned across every major media outlet’s coverage of the chaos Sunday at the southern border.
“Choking on teargas” led much of the coverage, but based on media coverage today, Americans may be surprised to learn that the use of teargas on the southern border has been common since 2010, and that it was used dozens of times during the Obama administration — with little media fanfare.
Yet, President Donald Trump has been vilified unmercifully this week by the left for the Border Patrol doing what it has been doing the entire decade.
Even liberal Newsweek, no friend of Trump’s, reported on this use of teargas, citing data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency:
In a statement sent to Newsweek on Tuesday, the CBP said its personnel have been using tear gas, or 2-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS), since 2010, deploying the substance a total of 126 times since fiscal year 2012.
Under President Donald Trump, CBP’s use of the substance has hit a seven-year record high, with the agency deploying the substance a total of 29 times in fiscal year 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018, according to the agency’s data.
However, the data also showed that the substance was deployed nearly the same number of times in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 under former President Barack Obama, with CBP using the substance 26 times in fiscal year 2012 and 27 times in fiscal year 2013.
Newsweek also noted that the use of pepper spray “appeared to soar under the Obama administration.”
But no breathless reporting from the pearl-clutching media then?
Border Patrol used pepper spray 95 times in fiscal year 2012 and upped that figure to 151 in 2013, falling to 109 in fiscal year 2014 before dropping off in subsequent years.
On a side note, it’s not clear why the two children were barefoot, as the caravan was well supplied and included “plenty of doctors and nurses attending to the migrants needs,” and even “a mobile hospital stocked with enough pharmaceutical drugs to make Keith Richards blush,” as reported by documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz, who embedded himself in the caravan.
What does seem to be clear is that women and children were intentionally being put in harms way.
Rodney Scott, the chief patrol agent for San Diego Sector Border Control, appeared on CNN to defend the use of teargas and challenge that the invading migrants storming the U.S. border were peaceful or seeking asylum.
He also noted that prior to migrants attacking Border Patrol agents with rocks, they pushed women and children to the front.
“What I find unconscionable was that people would purposely take children into this situation,” Scott said. “What we saw over and over yesterday was that people would purposely push women and children to the front and then begin basically rocking our agents.”
“Once our agents were assaulted and the numbers started growing — we had two or three agents initially facing hundreds of people at a time — they deployed tear gas to protect themselves or protect the border,” he added.
The Border Patrol also noted on Twitter that teargas was deployed “because of the risk to agent’s safety,” who were being attacked with “projectiles.”
Today, several migrants threw projectiles at the agents in San Diego. Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents' safety. Several agents were hit by the projectiles. The situation is evolving and a statement is forthcoming.
— CBP (@CBP) November 25, 2018
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