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Tear gas canister, Wikimedia commons

In another escalation of Donald Trump's war on immigrants, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents fired tear gas into Mexico Sunday to teach those people a lesson. Hundreds of migrants had been protesting the US's deliberate slowdown of processing requests for asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry. After Mexican police blocked a pedestrian bridge, part of the group crossed a dry concrete riverbed, and some attempted to get through fencing at the border. CBP agents fired at least two volleys of tear gas, which drifted hundreds of feet, gassing not only the very bad people trying to get through the fences, but also women and children who were nowhere near them. Fox and Friends was there to assure us, though: Tear gas is really just nacho dust.


The San Ysidro Port of Entry, which normally serves about 100,000 people a day crossing either way, was shut for hours Sunday afternoon; it eventually reopened for both pedestrian and vehicle traffic by about 6 p.m. local time.

The most important thing to remember is that all of this is perfectly normal, and all the people who got gassed were totally asking for it by being poor and fleeing violence in Central America. And yes, there really were some people in the group doing a bad thing:

An Associated Press reporter saw U.S. agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. Mexico's Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

Honduran Ana Zuniga, 23, also said she saw migrants opening a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them.

Children screamed and coughed. Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of feet away.

"We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more," Zuniga told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.

Say, how many members of the group were doing those bad things? Buzzfeed reports a Mexican official said approximately 30 migrants actually breached the border and were arrested by the US, but there wasn't any confirmation of that number from the US side. Also, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement (about which there has been no confirmation except from Kirstjen Nielsen) that some of the migrants "sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them," ergo, all the thousands of refugees trying to keep their children from being murdered in Honduras don't deserve asylum and definitely deserved to be gassed, and plenty of fine patriotic Americans on Twitter wish the Border Patrol had used live ammo. Because look at the criminals, as seen in this photo by Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon:

You'll find lots of very nice people in the responses explaining that if that mother really loved her child, she would have stayed in Honduras, where there are no real problems except lazy people who want to take all our jobs and be on welfare, and anyway she should have applied for asylum in Mexico, not that she deserves it. If you'd like a quick refresher on all the things Americans don't know about the asylum process, just read Twitter.

Still, some liberal crazies, like California's governor-elect, keep pushing the radical notion that tear-gassing refugees is not a good thing:

At least America's Dear Leader knows what needs to be done: Send 'em all back because they're not our problem, and besides, they're all STONE COLD CRIMINALS:

The Washington Post helpfully notes that presidents don't actually have the power to "close the border permanently," no, not even crazy presidents who have made ending immigration their best-selling brand. And even though Trump really, really wants to radically revise how asylum works (to the point of effectively ending it), so far, the courts won't let him. And under US law, anyone who makes it to US soil is still entitled to ask for asylum, even if they didn't cross at a port of entry.

Of course, the problem with insisting that asylum seekers only go to ports of entry is that US officials are also restricting access to that option. With something like 5,000 asylum-seekers camped out at a muddy sports stadium in Tijuana, the San Ysidro facility has been allowing only about 40 a day to apply for asylum -- which is what sparked the protest Sunday. At other ports of entry, border guards have been doing all they can to physically block people from even setting foot across the border. It's a hell of a catch: You must come in the right way, but we won't let you come in that way, either.

Also on Sunday morning, before the protest and the subsequent tear gassings, Trump once again repeated his insane lie that the caravans of migrants aren't people running away from violence and traveling together for safety, because they're actually being sent by their home countries. Again, this is a lie:

It doesn't have to be true, because he's the president. That makes it true, you see.

As we prepared this piece, Trump was back to tweeting about being the victim of an unfair witch hunt, so we'll hope he may hold off for now from any plans to simply start machine-gunning refugees. Happy Holidays!

[AP / WaPo / LAT / Buzzfeed News / Reuters / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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