Well, the border battle is escalating again in Tijuana.
In a repeat of a scene that’s played out on at least a couple of occasions since late November, US agents fired tear gas at migrants attempting to cross the border on Wednesday, a rather unceremonious way to usher in 2019.
Unlike a highly-publicized volley in late November, this time the gas was fired “into Mexico” and, according to the administration, was aimed not at those trying to cross the border, but rather at unidentified “rock throwers”.
According to the government, migrants were attempting to hoist, toss or otherwise pass “toddler sized children” over wire fencing. Agents would have helped protect those living, breathing hot potatoes, but they couldn’t because “rocks.” Never mind the fact that soldiers routinely protect innocents in battle even in the face of actual bullets. These folks can’t even be bothered to protect babies if it means braving “rocks.”
Anyway, agents then did what anyone would do in this situation – they started gassing folks. Or something. Here’s some footage:
Hilariously (or not, depending on how you want to look at it), the US says agents were actually just trying to look out for the safety of the migrants.
“[We used tear gas] only after there were rocks and there were kids involved,” Customs and Border Protection agency spokesman Andrew Meehan said, adding that “then it became an issue of safety for the officers and frankly safety of the migrants.”
Yes, “frankly”, it was necessary to pepper spray migrants, gas them and, according to AP, fire “plastic pellets” at them, in order to keep them “safe.”
According to the agency, two-dozen migrants were “detained” while the rest scurried back into Mexico through “a hole under the fence” (as AP puts it).
There are conflicting reports as to whether the gas affected women and children. The US says agents were careful to disperse smoke and tear gas “upwind of the rock throwers [and] no agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents.”
The gas was “targeted at the rock throwers”, Customs and Border Protection went on to reiterate, with the absurd redundancy virtually screaming: “The agency doth protest too much, methinks!”
AP, on the other hand, says rocks were thrown only after the gas was dispersed. According to journalists who were on the scene, women and children were indeed affected which makes sense because, well, because it’s pretty hard to control where gas goes once you fire it.
This of course comes as Trump remains barricaded in the White House with his phone, tweeting out insults, threats, cryptic olive branches to Pelosi and expounding in 280 characters on the timeless perfection of “walls” and “wheels”.
You’re also reminded that back in November, Trump said he had instructed the military to “consider rocks rifles” when dealing with migrants.