Other View: Defend border; but uphold America's principles, too
Images of U.S. Border Patrol agents firing tear gas on civilians, including women and children, were agonizing.
Central American migrants, many of them fleeing miserable conditions in Honduras, have our deepest sympathy. Those who wish to exercise their legal rights to request asylum status must be granted that opportunity.
But, and this is a crucially important fact to underline for all who loathe the insidious immigration politics played by President Donald Trump, the U.S.-Mexico border ought not be open. Crossing it without authorization is correctly considered a crime.
When more than 100 migrants tried to breach the border five years ago, and some threw rocks, Border Patrol agents answered with pepper spray.
In a sane world, a well-defended border should go hand in hand with a functional process for vetting asylum claims.
Under U.S. and international law, anyone on U.S. soil or at a designated point of entry, regardless of immigration status, can request such protection. The status is granted when a migrant makes a credible claim that he or she faces violence based on politics, religion, nationality, race, or membership in a social group.
Applications have surged in the last decade; the backlog is massive.
If Trump wished to behave responsibly, he would authorize more asylum officers and immigration judges. He'd rather feed fever dreams of an ongoing invasion, a crisis he says only a wall across the entire southern border can answer.
— New York Daily News