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Migrants hurt their cause with violence

From an editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

Migrants on Sunday stormed the U.S. border near San Diego, and from the media coverage you’d think the culprits were the Border Patrol agents who used tear gas to disperse the mob and defend themselves. But the officers were right to repel the crowds, and the tragedy is that such lawlessness will undermine support for legal asylum in the U.S.

Hundreds of migrants overwhelmed Mexican law enforcement and rushed north, and some stormed the car lanes at San Ysidro, the Western Hemisphere’s biggest land-border crossing. Others surged through gaps in the nearby border fence.

The United States can’t tolerate migrants who rush the border or assault officers with rocks. …

Sunday’s real victims are Central Americans who have respected U.S. law even as they flee genuine persecution, and who are waiting in Tijuana to seek asylum legally at the U.S. port of entry.

Violence and lawlessness erode public support for a generous asylum policy. Germany is the cautionary tale. Even Hillary Clinton recently acknowledged that Chancellor Angela Merkel erred by admitting a million Middle Eastern migrants in 2015. The result has been a political backlash. … There’s no faster way to lose public support for immigration.

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