Last week CBS News reporter David Begnaud went to the border in Roma, Texas to do a story about letters local residents have been receiving about surveying for a future border wall. What he wound up witnessing was the reason tougher border control is needed.
Today, on assignment in Mexico, producer Mark Hooper & I saw a “scout” guide a smuggler across the Rio Grande, in a raft, to deliver 2 people to the U.S. who entered illegally right near a legal border crossing.
The scout threatened us.
Our report: https://t.co/K8OdASmbGI
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) July 12, 2018
Begnaud left his camera crew on the American side of the border and then crossed a bridge and went to the Mexican side. As soon as he reached the Mexican side of the Rio Grande river, Begnaud noticed a smuggler bringing two people across the river in an inflatable boat.
As Begnaud began filming, another man acting as a scout approached him and began telling him to leave. Feeling threatened, Begnaud and his producer got back in their car and returned to the American side of the border. The people on the inflatable boat ran into the woods (on the American side) just a few hundred yards from the legal crossing point. These were not people looking to make an asylum claim at a border checkpoint, they were illegal immigrants looking to sneak into the country.
Throughout the entire incident, the smuggler and the scout were talking on walkie-talkies. Begnaud notes that all of this happened during a shift-change at the nearby crossing point, suggesting the smugglers were very deliberate about all of this. After delivering the illegal immigrants to the American side, the smuggler walked back across the river with his boat, giving the CBS reporters the finger on his way back to Mexico.
That’s really a pretty good summary of what the smugglers think of the existing security along the border. It’s a joke which invites contempt. The point here isn’t that this is extraordinary, but that it’s pretty routine. The reason we don’t see it isn’t because it’s unusual but because the media doesn’t usually cover it, at least not in a way that might help make the case for stronger border control.
Incidentally, Begnaud is the same reporter who came forward to explain the real story behind that viral photo of a girl crying that wound up on Time magazine. I’m not suggesting he’s secretly a Trump supporter, only that he’s obviously willing to show us the truth about this issue when a lot of other reporters would rather run with their preferred narrative. Here’s his full report: