Scenes from the United States southern border near Tijuana, Mexico, were hard to miss over the weekend, as protests inside Mexico heated up. Some in the migrant caravan decided that their asylum accommodations were lacking so they decided to try entering the United States in a less formal, and less secure area.

Sunday a group of migrants, a majority of them male, stormed the border. This was after President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security closed a large portion of the border entry into California at San Ysidro after hearing rumors of migrants rushing the border crossing to get through, and major media personalities telling us that the migrants just want to claim asylum and would never try to overwhelm or bypass legal methods of immigration.

As in the not so distant past, these migrants were met by border patrol officers who defended the American border with non-lethal methods. Usually tear gas or pepper spray. Don’t get me wrong, both can be nasty, but neither are deadly or have long-lasting effects. In fact, for the agents to be authorized to use the spray, they must undergo training that includes being subjected to the spray and gas themselves.

By the way, the agents only used pepper spray after being hit with projectiles, namely rocks and bottles, from the purportedly peaceful migrants who broke off from protests against the asylum process.

Much hay was made by both media and politicians about Border Patrol agents, and President Trump “gassing migrants, including women and children.” Even worse, it occurred on Thanksgiving weekend, which I guess only adds insult to injury for a populace that doesn’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving. Congresswoman Barbara Lee called for UN inspectors to come to watch the situation on the border for “human right violations”… yes, you read that correctly.

For those of us actually living in the real world, Mexican authorities have detained many of the protesters who tried to storm the border, reportedly already deporting over 100 of the migrants. They have vowed to deport all migrants who attempt to illegally enter the United States.

I honestly wonder what those complaining would suggest agents do when faced with hundreds of people trying to enter our country in an illegal and unauthorized fashion while brandishing rocks. Maybe just roll out the red carpet and pass out champagne? It would make just as much sense as those that argue for open borders and free migration throughout the Americas.

Of interest to me was whether or not agents were using methods to deter migrants that were out of the norm from past practices. Because the amount of news coverage, and it’s tenor, seemed to convey that this was way outside the boundaries of usual practices.

Conveniently, The Washington Times did the research for me, and they reported that in fiscal year 2013 pepper spray was used 151 times (a decade high number of occasions) as compared to 43 times in fiscal year 2018. In fact, tear gas was used approximately once a month at the border during the Obama administration.

In the midst of all of the protests the American and Mexican governments came to an agreement on how to process the asylum claims of not just the migrants who arrived in this first caravan, but also the others who are on their way. This agreement allows for migrants to stay in Mexico while claims are processed.

Many Mexican citizens have lost patience with the migrants after repeated clashes between the caravan members and Mexican police. What is also more than a little galling, Mexico has offered asylum and jobs to the migrants, and while some have taken the offer many refused, hedging their bets on gaining asylum in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security released a report Monday night detailing what we are getting with the caravan, or at least this first phase. Over 600 migrants have been identified as convicted criminals. And no these aren’t little process crimes, but assault, battery, burglary, rape, child abuse and more. It includes people who are trafficking children not their own. It is predominantly male, and women with children are used as human shields for both the media and law enforcement.

Could there be better optics for the open borders crowd than everyone plastering pictures of border patrol agents firing rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at women and children?

I would imagine that DHS has people embedded inside the caravan. It would be the responsible thing to do, especially since it is known that Middle Eastern terrorists have been caught trying to enter the U.S. through the southern border. In fact, there have been over 15 known terrorists caught trying to enter or actually entering the US this way since Sept. 11. Most have been affiliated with al-Shebaab and Hezbollah.

This isn’t meant to cause fear. But is is unrealistic to think that every single person trying to enter our country has our nation’s best interests at heart. We must have a conversation about what level of legal immigration we can accept and assimilate. The constant push of immigration activists to overwhelm an already overburdened system can not continue without major repercussions to our society and the little cohesion we have left.

I am going to just assume, that like with the child separation policy hysteria, this is a new moral crisis for many of our fellow citizens on the left.

As with with most issues during the Trump presidency, the media and the left (I know, I am repeating myself) cry wolf loudly and repeatedly at every turn that this is the policy or scandal that will “literally kill millions” and bring Trump down.

At some point they could even turn out right, but will anyone even be paying attention?

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at or by calling (209) 862-2222.