On November 25, in Tijuana, Mexico, tear gas was fired into a crowd of children and adults attempting to illegally cross the border. Videos and pictures showcasing the event surfaced on the internet, throwing the media into a frenzy. People from all across America were sharing their opinions on the matter. On one hand, people were deeply upset and disappointed that this series of events had taken place in “The Land of the Free”. On the other, fingers were being pointed at the parents who had willingly taken their child into a dangerous situation. President Trump has also been attacked for allowing the use of tear gas to begin with. When discussing this topic, it is important to remember America’s foundation.
America was built upon people coming here pursuing freedom, as they believed that the terms under which they were living were not fair. Now, citizens of Central America come seeking refuge from the violent and impoverished worlds they have been living in yet, they are turned away. It’s as if America does not remember that it once was in the same shoes as these refugees. However, they have not brought boatloads of people to come into slaughter and sell us into slavery as the first settlers of America did to the Native Americans. At the same time, it is important to note that this is not the case for all. Detlof von Winterfeldt, a researcher at CREATE said, “The standard wisdom [that] it’s all about violence could not be supported by our data”(“Dinan”).
It may seem that this only further complicates the process of who should and should not be allowed across the border, I believe that this has made it easier. According to The Washington Post, “Dozens of migrants interviewed by the Associated Press have said they are fleeing poverty and violence in their countries of origin”(“Tijuana”). It should first be assessed who truly wish to come to America for safety and those that want a better paying job. The true refugees should be the first to be granted amnesty and allowed entrance into America. This process eliminates false “contenders” and then those deemed actual refugees can go through the trials of becoming an American citizen, the legal way.
It must not be forgotten that these people were greeted with an inhumane form of punishment, such as tear gas. Nobody seems to like the idea of people, let alone children, being subjected to this type of pain. However, President Trump is getting more hate than he may deserve, as he is not the first President to condone this behavior. “According to the DHS data, during the Obama administration, tear gas was used on the border 26 times in 2012, 27 times in 2013, 15 times in 2014, eight times in 2015, and three times in 2016. That compares to the 18 times in 2017 and 29 times in 2018 during the Trump administration”(“Hannity”). It seems that the media picks and chooses what details to fill their audience’s brains with. While I still disagree with the actions being taken today, it mustn’t be forgotten that Trump is only following suit. The fact that Trump is so open about his opinions, unpopular or not, has gained him a following of people that wait for him to make a mistake. A mistake was spotted when tear gas was used at the border, and like a falcon, the press swooped down to pick the situation apart.
During these times everyone should take a moment to look at America’s history and what it supposedly stands for. In the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, the last verse states, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice, for all.” At this moment I cannot recite those words and accept that they are true. When this problem is resolved and families are no longer being separated, I will once again pledge with full confidence.
- Dinan, Stephen. ‘Caravan Mostly Standard Illegal Immigrants, Not Refugees Fleeing
- Violence.’ The Washington Times. The Washington Times, 28 Nov. 2018. Web. 03 Dec. 2018.
- “Hannity on Media’s Caravan Hypocrisy: No Outrage When Tear Gas Used at Border
- During Obama Admin.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 30 Nov. 2018, insider.foxnews.com/amp/article/64239.
- ‘Tijuana Shuts down Migrant Caravan Shelter.’ The Washington Times. The
- Washington Times, 02 Dec. 2018. Web. 03 Dec. 2018.