“A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said,” said the report in the San Diego Union-Tribune dated November 25.
Except, to be precise, that report was dated November 25, 2013 — five years ago to the day before last Sunday’s chaos at the southern border.
That’s right. Barack Obama was president, and Janet Napolitano was Secretary of Homeland Security. And the Border Patrol responded to being attacked with rocks and bottles by deploying “pepper spray and other means” against illegal immigrants storming the border.
Of course, that was nothing new for the Obama-era Border Patrol. According to a recent report in The Washington Times:
The same tear-gas agent that the Trump administration is taking heat for deploying against a border mob this weekend is actually used fairly frequently — including more than once a month during the later years of President Barack Obama’s administration, according to Homeland Security data.
Further, “Border authorities also use another agent, pepper spray, frequently — including a decade-high record of 151 instances in 2013, also under Mr. Obama.”
Shhh. Don’t tell that to California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who responded to the recent use of tear gas by saying, “It’s horrifying to see tear gas used on mothers and young children as they seek refuge in the United States. That’s not what America should be.”
Or Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted in response: “Mothers and their children walked hundreds of miles and fled unspeakable horrors in the hope they would find asylum here in America. Instead of being met with compassion, they were tear gassed. That is wrong. It’s immortal. We should be better than this.”
Or Hawaii Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz, who tweeted Sunday, “Tear gas across the border against unarmed families is a new low.” (Actually, as pointed out above, it’s not a “new low” at all — it happened an awful lot when Barack Obama was president.)
Less than an hour later, Schatz tweeted out a whopper: “Why tear gas? Is this consistent with the Conventions on Chemical Weapons?”
Apparently, it took one of Schatz’s eagle-eyed staffers just a few moments to explain to the senator that use of tear gas for mob control purposes is sanctioned by international agreements on chemical weapons. He deleted the tweet forthwith.
As to his question, “Why tear gas?” the answer is simple: because it’s effective and non-lethal.
There are other non-lethal options, of course, like water cannons. But water cannons bring to mind images of Bull Connor. Feinstein, Warren, Schatz and their ilk would likely be just as opposed to their use as they say they are to the use of tear gas. The fact is: they would not countenance the use of any kind of force at all to secure the border.
Feinstein, Warren and Schatz were serving in the Senate five years ago, when the previous episode occurred at the San Ysidro port of entry, and tear gas was deployed. None of them raised an objection then. Why now? Is it really as simple as the fact that Obama was president then, and Trump is president now? Can they really be that nakedly shallow and political?
Worse, do they really believe that WE are so nakedly shallow and political as to fall for their evident hypocrisy?
Well, yes, and apparently.
President Trump warned months ago that the caravan of illegal immigrants headed from Central America to our southern border contained dangerous criminals, and meant to storm the border. The professional Left and the media, predictably, went nuts. Turns out, he was right.
By the end of next week, Congress likely will have come to some agreement over funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year. Either Democrats will have given in to the president’s insistence on $5 billion in funding for construction of a wall along the southern border, or Republicans will have caved (again) to the minority’s refusal to fund a wall.
With Sunday’s storming of the border, and Senate Democrats’ evident hypocrisy revealing they really don’t care at all about defending the border, the time has come for a shutdown showdown. Here’s hoping President Trump and congressional Republicans hold firm.
Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.