Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt had little room for empathy Monday when addressing the mothers and diaper-clad infants who were reportedly stung by tear gas and pepper spray Sunday while seeking entry to the United States through the southern border.
“If you don’t want a speeding ticket, don’t speed,” Earhardt said.
President Trump’s favorite morning show was working overtime Monday morning to justify the use of controversial crowd-control sprays at the San Ysidro entry point in California.
“They were able to puncture through the border wall and then they hurled all sorts of rocks, etc. at the Border Patrol agents,” said co-host Steve Doocy. “And then they fired the tear gas. Was that warranted?” he asked guest Ronald Colburn, founder of the Border Patrol Foundation.
He countered that officials are using “OC pepper spray,” which he claimed is composed of “water, pepper, with a small amount of alcohol for evaporation purposes.”
“It’s natural,” he continued. “You could actually put it on your nachos and eat it! So it’s a good way of deterring people without long-term harm.”
Pepper spray is made from oleoresin capsicum (OC)—which gives chili peppers their heat—but the kind used by law-enforcement officers also may, as Colburn noted, include alcohol, halogenated hydrocarbons, or propellants. Those chemicals, which are frequently used in sprays, can reportedly cause “adverse cardiac, respiratory, and neurologic effects, including arrhythmias and sudden death,” according to a joint 2004 study from Duke University and the University of North Carolina.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concluded in 1996 “that exposure to OC spray during training constituted an unacceptable health risk” for police officers and that some officers reported related injuries that lasted more than a week, including chest pain, loss of consciousness, and acute eye pain.
Sunday’s reported use of pepper spray and tear gas was allegedly aimed at those migrants who were trying to penetrate the fence after a peaceful march of asylum-seekers from Central America devolved, but wind caused the substance to fan out, reaching young children.
The San Ysidro Port of Entry—one of the busiest border crossings in the world—was closed for several hours in the resulting chaos, but it was later reopened.
Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth compared the caravan’s attempted U.S. entry to a home invasion and the Trump administration’s response to a “showdown” that will “send a message” to those seeking asylum.
“Someone’s trying to get into your house, and rather than knocking on your door and asking permission they’re throwing rocks at you and demanding that they be let in,” he explained. “And then maybe once they’re let in, you don’t know what room they’re going to be in because you kind of lost track of them.”
Hegseth continued: “It’s an insane process. To draw a line right now is to say that law and order has to matter. That’s why this showdown is so important. It sends a message across the caravan and across other groups.”