If someone tried to break into your house, you’d probably call 911 and get them arrested, right? If you agreed, then explain to me why so many people are in an uproar about foreigners who are illegally trying to come into our country?
There is no other country that would allow you to come in illegally and welcome you with open arms, especially if they knew you were coming like Trump did about the migrants from Central America.
From what I’ve observed, the national media has done a fantastic job catering to the fears and assumptions of the American public. Trump supporters have been shown videos and pictures of migrants storming a protected border, confirming their fears of an “invasion” of migrants breaking U.S. laws. Trump critics have been shown American patrol agents firing tear gas at unarmed people including children, which reinforces their horror at the way the U.S. treats immigrants.
Let’s get some facts straight.
The border is not shut down. A port of entry was closed for a few hours on Sunday, but is now open again.
More than 7,000 migrants are in the border town of Tijuana. Many of them claim they want to seek asylum in the U.S., which they have a right to do according to U.S. and international law. But only 40 to 100 asylum requests are allowed each day so they are people looking at waiting for months before they’re heard by U.S. authorities.
The events of this past Sunday have been the focus the national media. While photos of chaos are being circulated, here’s what really happened.
NPR reporter James Fredrick witnessed the events unfold and stated that at first, the migrants were peacefully protesting how long it would take them to seek asylum. The Mexican federal police attempted to contain the crowd, but a few got past them and started pushing against a chain-link fence on the border and throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents. The agents fired tear gas into the crowd several times, which drifted at least half a mile and caused some families with children to feel its affects.
Mexican authorities arrested 98 migrants while 42 were arrested in the U.S.
The nearly 6,000 U.S. troops sent to the border were sent there to support Customs and Border Protection. Local police and CBP agents have firearms, but the military police at the border are unarmed and can only carry shields and batons. Lethal force can only be used to protect federal agents and is at the discretion of the Secretary of Defense.
I tell you all this in the hopes that you will understand the importance of researching things for yourself and not believing everything you see online or on TV. But what do I know? I’m just a reporter.
Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-4353.