Obama Administration Used Tear Gas on Migrants: Where Was the Liberal Outrage Then?

Trump is blasted for the latest caravan controversy at the border — yet his predecessor got a pass

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Democrats and mainstream media members have been widely condemning President Donald Trump for the use of tear gas by American officials as caravan migrants attempted to enter the U.S. illegally this past weekend.

Related: More Than 600 Caravan Migrants Are Convicted Criminals

Yet the officials who used tear gas roughly once a month against incoming migrants during the Obama administration years did not even come close to receiving mass outrage.

Data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deployed 2-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS) tear gas on migrants since 2010, The Washington Times reported.

The officials used the gas 26 times during fiscal year 2012 — and 27 times in 2013.

Although the use of tear gas declined sharply during former President Barack Obama’s final years in office, it was used three times in 2016.

Do you support individual military members being able to opt out of getting the COVID vaccine?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

The use of CS rose for fiscal year 2017, which both Obama and Trump split, and ultimately it was used 29 times during fiscal year 2018, The Washington Times noted.

Immigration enforcement officials also used pepper spray on migrants at the border, which reached a record high number of uses, with 151 under Obama in 2013.

Officials under Trump deployed pepper spray 43 times in fiscal year 2018.

Although it’s nothing new for border authorities to deploy tear gas on those individuals seeking illegal entry — some violently — the outcry during 2018 under Trump has been vast.

Thousands of migrants from Central America — most of whom are young, single men — have crossed into Mexico with the intention of crossing the border into the U.S.

Trump deployed approximately 6,000 U.S. troops to bolster border security efforts in anticipation of the migrants’ arrival — and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said last Wednesday that Trump had given him the authority to use lethal force, if necessary, to guard the safety and well-being of all CBP personnel.

The CBP also revealed that some migrants “attempted to illegally enter the U.S.” over the weekend, noting that “those persons were stopped and turned back to Mexico.”

Some migrants also threw what appeared to be rocks at enforcement officials.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned in a statement this past Sunday that the DHS would “not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons.”

“We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty,” Nielsen insisted.

Related: Congress Should Step Up and Give Trump $5 Billion in Border Wall Funding, Says Scalise

A picture from the weekend went viral showing a mother and her two young daughters fleeing from the tear gas deployed at the border.

Many Democrats and media members have been using that photo and rallying around it to denounce the Trump administration’s use of tear gas against those who want to push their way into our country.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) insisted, rather amazingly, on Monday on MSNBC’s “All In” that the crisis at the border was “a self-created chaotic situation by” Trump.

“He has weaponized resentment and fear of migrants, basically to his political benefit. And that’s why you see him do a lot of things that he does with respect to migration and immigration,” Castro claimed.

Many Democrats and media members have been using that photo and rallying around it to denounce the Trump administration’s use of tear gas against those who want to push their way into our country.

“Democratic and Republican administrations have had an orderly process for asylum. And this president has basically knocked all that — destroyed all that.”

CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem opined on Monday on “OutFront,” “I do not believe that CPB agents woke up that morning wanting to use tear gas on women and children. But it was a crisis created by rhetoric and policy from this administration that put CPB in a position that they didn’t need to be in.”

Make sure to check out the video below:

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments