This segment aired earlier in the week, but it's worth revisiting and highlighting, even if belatedly. Remember, as the Left likes to tells it, the caravan (which was said to have been covered too much, then too little, then too much again) is full of people fleeing their native countries and seeking humanitarian shelter in the United States because the political conditions back home represent a bona fide threat to their physical safety. Setting aside the hypocrisy and wild posturing over the Border Patrol's well-established crowd control practices, and the biased coverage that falsely implied that the tear gas was disproportionately deployed against children, were these alleged 'asylum-seekers' truly in mortal danger? According to MSNBC, in many cases, the answer is no. Don't take the US officials' word for it. Take the migrants' own word for it:
"[Potentially asylum-eligible women] are the minority of this caravan. Instead, most of the members of this caravan... [are] single men...many of these men tell us that they heard in Honduras that it would be easy to cross into the United States. Some of them told us that they had heard there would be programs, work programs, that they would be eligible for. So now that they're here in Tijuana and they've realized that it's very difficult to get into the United States, especially after what happened on Sunday, some of them are deciding to turn back."
We’ve been told repeatedly that these are asylum candidates, people who had to flee their homes because their lives were at stake...What if, to borrow Geraldo Rivera’s Orwellian phrase, the refugees in this case are actually just “economic refugees”? I.e. illegal immigrants, looking for nothing more than better-paying jobs and eager to game U.S. asylum laws to gain entry, after which they’ll be released while they await their asylum hearing and then never be heard from again.
Part of what makes border hawks so cynical about appeals to humanitarianism within the context of border security is the degree to which our laws -- especially the disastrous status quo of 'catch and release' -- have been exploited for years. You claim asylum, you get a court date to adjudicate that claim, then you melt into the US interior and never show up for your review. That exact process has been replicated countless times, resulting in millions of illegal immigrants gaining entry into the country. And then many on the Left want to turn around and grant those who've taken advantage of this gaping loophole in our system an expedited path to citizenship. It's unsustainable, terrible policy, coupled with self-interested politics. No wonder Congress seems incapable of handing reforms on this issue in a remotely responsible manner. Too many Republicans want to cast illegal immigrants as dangerous criminals, and too many Democrats want new voters. But even as the Trump administration's messaging about the caravan has been over-the-top alarmist, Rich Lowry persuasively argues that many of their central claims have been vindicated, with actual events debunking liberals' virtue-signaling talking points:
It’s been about three weeks since CNN reporter Jim Acosta repeatedly told President Trump at a news conference that the migrant caravan is “hundreds and hundreds of miles away” and “not an invasion.” Acosta strenuously objected to a Trump ad that showed migrants climbing border walls: “They’re not going to be doing that.” Now, thousands of migrants from the caravan have arrived in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. Over the weekend, hundreds of them stormed a border crossing, climbing the fence and throwing rocks. US border agents used tear gas to repel the mob. If the throng was too small to constitute an invasion, it certainly wasn’t a rules-bound group of asylum seekers...The latest once again puts the left’s radicalism on display. It’s not just that Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be abolished, the liberal thinking goes; border agents shouldn’t be permitted to defend themselves from an aggressive rabble.
On a related topic, where do things stand on funding for the president's promised border wall? With deadlines pending, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats are comfortable giving Trump a sizable portion of the money he's asked for -- and may even be willing to negotiate a more generous compromise:
Schumer’s office says $1.6 billion in funding Dems want is for border security generally - fencing, not a concrete wall. Schumer at presser: “The $1.6 billion for border security negotiated by Democrats and Republicans is our position.” He would not say if they’d support more— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 27, 2018
The resistance is displeased:
This is malpractice, politically and substantively. https://t.co/3hAVn789Q6— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2018