Over the weekend, leftists galore attacked President Trump for the use of tear gas against immigrants who were trying to enter the United States illegally. Among Trump’s critics was California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sniffed, “It’s horrifying to see tear gas used on mothers and young children as they seek refuge in the United States. That’s not what America should be.”
But not only did Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, use tear gas against those who attempted to enter the country illegally, the Obama administration did it numerous times.
The Washington Times, relying on data gleaned from the Department of Homeland Security, noted that during some of the years of Obama’s tenure, the same tear gas agent that the Trump administration used was utilized more than once a month. The Times wrote:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has used 2-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile, or CS, since 2010, and deployed it 26 times in 2012 and 27 times in 2013. The use dropped after that, but was still deployed three times in 2016, Mr. Obama’s final full year in office. Use of CS rose again in 2017, which was split between Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump, and reached 29 deployments in fiscal year 2018, which ended two months ago, according to CBP data seen by The Washington Times.
The Times added that pepper spray was used by border authorities 151 times; it has been used 43 times in fiscal year 2018.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, fired back at Trump’s critics, telling CNN, “This policy that we use was an Obama-written policy and it was used in 2013 at the same port of entry. The facts are, the policy written under President Obama allows us to use tear gas to disperse a crowd that was very dangerous.”
Trump is not alone in using tear gas; over the weekend the French police dealt with thousands of protesters who were furious about rising fuel prices by using tear gas. The Express reported on Sunday, “Paris was last night under a fog of tear gas, with demonstrators also being targeted with water cannons to fire at police. Officers were also seen edging closer to protestors using a wall of their shields.” The New York Times added, “Clouds of gas and smoke rolled up the Champs-Élysées all afternoon as the police battled militant members of the crowd wielding paving stones; the grass-roots protesters insisted they were unconnected with their movement.”
The CDC says of tear gas:
The extent of poisoning caused by riot control agents depends on the amount of riot control agent to which a person was exposed, the location of exposure (indoors versus outdoors), how the person was exposed, and the length of time of the exposure. Riot control agents work by causing irritation to the area of contact (for example, eyes, skin, nose) within seconds of exposure. The effects of exposure to a riot control agent are usually short-lived (15–30 minutes) after the person has been removed from the source and decontaminated (cleaned off).