A Border Mess

I'm very irritated with basically everyone who had anything to do with the current mess at the border.

The Trump administration spent millions of dollars preparing for the arrival of the caravan. The fact that it's only been able to process 60-100 applicants per day is embarrassing. For a small fraction of the amount we spent deploying the military, we could have hired a bunch of temp workers, given them some basic training, and had the infrastructure in place to process the large number of asylum applications we knew were on their way.

The march organizers are to be commended for organizing a protest to draw attention to the administration's incompetence, but condemned for failing to provide sufficient security measures. Security is a basic part of organizing a march, and if you can't ensure security, you shouldn't have the march. It's the job of the organizers to protect the marchers from law enforcement by ensuring that law enforcement doesn't need to get involved. These organizers failed in that task.

The marchers who decided to bumrush the border were incredibly foolish and did immense damage to both their own chances of being granted asylum and the broader cause they were marching for. They had a path toward legal entry into the US, and they threw that away. Worse, they played into the existing propaganda against them, and they caused a major security incident at an event that was attended by a large number of children. If you want to sneak across the border, do it on your own time, not in a way that jeopardizes bystanders.

The border patrol agents who fired tear gas into the initial attack are in legally gray territory because they fired it across an international border, but I expect that its use will be considered self defense. The border patrol agents who fired tear gas at other groups of migrants to prevent them from illegally crossing the border, on the other hand, were under no such threat of imminent danger. I find it extremely unlikely that they had any legal justification for using tear gas in that scenario, especially since children were present, and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Of course, "should be" and "will be" are two very different things, and I doubt that any of them will even face administrative sanctions.

I'm also pissed off at the Mexican government, which had just as long to prepare for the caravan as the US government, but apparently failed to consider the possibility that it might take time for the caravan to actually cross the border. The federal government should not be relying on the City of Tijuana to pay for accommodations. It has a basic responsibility to avoid humanitarian crises, and it failed in that responsibility.

Finally, I'm irritated at Trump for responding to this event by requesting even more money to mismanage. He ran on a platform of improving border security, but he can't even manage legal immigration without everything devolving into chaos and tear gas. He wasted huge amounts of money preparing for this, and none of it seems to have actually accomplished anything. He shouldn't get another dime in border funding until he demonstrates the ability to use existing funds effectively.


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