Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Disgusted but Not Surprised: An Attack on Asylum Seekers by the Trump Administration

Lone South American migrant walking along the dry Tijuana waterbed, a few feet away from the United States border.

United States President Donald Trump said that military officials should treat rocks thrown by asylum seekers as a “firearm” on Nov. 2, saying that he hoped the military would not respond without a fight. Three weeks later, as the group of asylum seekers reached the U.S./Mexico border, the U.S. military did just that, dispensing tear gas after a few members of the group reportedly threw small rocks over the border wall as they tried to cross into the U.S.

Putting aside the massive waste of money and resources of sending thousands of military personnel to combat asylum seekers, this response was inhumane, not to mention a war crime. Under the Geneva Convention tear gas is considered a chemical weapon and therefore banned from use in warfare, though it is often by police used against civilians.Military personnel responded to a mild threat with chemical warfare on a group which included young children. And the group wasn’t even in the U.S. yet. If this were to have occurred in another other country, the U.S. response could likely have included sanctions and at the very least a strong statement from the president condemning the human rights violation.

For a country that seems to be so fond of starting wars in the name of helping people whose human rights are being threatened, some Trump supporters seem to contradict themselves in supporting this attack on the asylum seekers. Case in point, Tomi Lahren who repeatedly has called for more aggressive responses to human rights violations in the Middle East but named this attack as “the highlight” of her Thanksgiving.

Almost as concerning as the attack itself is Trump’s response to the incident, in which he (again) blatantly denies objective truth and reaffirms his opinion that brown immigrants are not welcome. Instead of accepting what is evident through videos and photos, Trump instead decided to stick to what he knows–lying. He responded to the attack by saying that the form of gas used was “mild” and “very safe”, when first person accounts contradict this statement. Trump also said that border agents were badly injured, though the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection denied this.

The scariest part about Trump’s lies is that many of his supporters believe every word that comes out of his mouth. His words, unfortunately, have power, which means that when he dehumanizes the asylum seekers by saying that they are an “invasion”, his supporters and much of the rest of the country will follow suit.

To be clear, the group of asylum seekers was well within their rights. They had made clear throughout their journey that they would be asking for asylum in the U.S., as many say they are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. By law, the U.S. government is required to help people who state that they seek asylum and people are able to seek asylum even if they enter the country illegally.

The legality of the issue aside, even if this group was seeking to live in the U.S. illegally, tear gassing people who pose no real threat to our military and country is still not okay.

Additionally, let us not forget the U.S. habit of stirring up political unrest and violence in other countries, then denying harbor for a large portion of the people who are suffering due to U.S. intervention. This nationalistic attitude is evident in the miniscule amount of refugees that the country allows in from the Middle East and is clear again here.

No one would endure the tireless and dangerous journey to the U.S. unless they thought the border was safer than their home.

We urge you Trump….try some compassion and know the weight of your words.

For the rest of the nation, pay attention and stay angry.

The Spectator Editorial Board

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    Ed Stephens
    Jan 17, 2019 at 9:30 am

    You people are heartless and disgusting by encouraging the illegals to come to the U.S. w/o any restraint thus endangering their lives. They have ‘legal’ means to gain asylum and it’s going to the embassy of the country they ‘reside’ in or the immediate nation’s embassy next door; NOT thousands of miles away only to rush the border putting Americans, Border Agents and their lives at stake. President Trump is following the LAW set in place by DEMOCRATS! Where were you when Obama’s Administration did the EXACT SAME THING only WORSE because those ‘photos’ of caged children were in 2014 under HIS leadership. Furthermore, his administration allowed the migrants to be pepper sprayed over 80 TIMES! We are either a nation of laws, following the rule of law or we’re on a fast track to becoming a Third World Nation which the Democrat party seeks for the U.S.

    Thank GOD that President Trump understands that he took an oath to UPHOLD the Constitution and his first role, like Congress is to PROTECT Americans and through it our National Security. He’s truly Making America Great Again despite the anti-American, hate filled racist Democrat party and its defacto media wing of the alphabet soup stations doing their bidding like ABC,NBC,CBS,PBS,NPR,MSNBC,CNN.

    Where is your compassion for the safety and security of the American people? Or are you safely protected behind your doors, walls and fences fully secured against entry? With your ‘thinking’ about asylum seekers, if they were to enter your homes or businesses illegally, they would in essence be ‘undocumented’ family members with all the rights and protections you extend to your family. That’s how insane your argument for allowing these illegals to crash our border.

    God bless President Trump!