The Slatest

Cute Tiger Cub Discovered at Mexican Border in Potential Metaphor for Trump Era, All of American History

A tiger cub looking into the camera.
Irma Chapa/Border Patrol

Well, would you look at that! The lil’ fellow above, per a Border Patrol spokeswoman, was found in a duffel bag that had been left on the U.S. side of the border near Brownsville, Texas, by individuals who crossed back into Mexico:

A seemingly sleeping tiger cub in a black duffel bag.
Irma Chapa/Border Patrol
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A Texas CBS affiliate reports that the cub was taken to a local zoo. Border Patrol spokeswoman Irma Chapa tweeted that it is “expected to make a full recovery.” (It’s not clear whether the animal was already sedated when discovered.)

The Brownsville border station’s official website, incidentally, makes reference to its previous involvement in enforcing anti-Chinese immigration legislation:

The Brownsville Station was established when the need to stem the flow of illegal Chinese immigrants into the United States became apparent; thus the mounted guard was created in 1918 to oppose their entry. 

The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and its subsequent extensions effectively prohibited all Chinese immigration until 1943, which is to say that what made the “illegal Chinese immigrants” in question illegal in 1918 was that they were Chinese people—and thus comparable, in the public discourse of the time, to monkeys, rats, and pigs.

Meanwhile, a Trump supporter who is campaigning for the Republican Senate nomination in West Virginia recently argued that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can’t be trusted because his father-in-law is a “wealthy Chinaperson.” (That’d be the father of Trump’s secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao. It’s not a strong argument.)

It’s not clear to me exactly what this all means, but it clearly means something, and, in any case, cute baby tiger!

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