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Border Patrol Agent to Journalists: Camp by the River and ‘See How Safe You Are’

Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents apprehend a large group of migrant families and unaccompanied minors near Granjeno, Texas. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector

A Border Patrol agent who serves in the nation’s busiest human smuggling sector says the unsecured border is not safe.

During a recent interview with Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby, Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera, in his capacity as vice-president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3373, responded to a question about safety along the unsecured border areas in South Texas. “My response [to people who say the area is safe] is grab a tent and set up shop for a couple of days — see how safe you are,” Agent Cabrera said.

He then described a situation where a CBS News reporter expressed at how unsafe the border area was while he was observing an illegal crossing in July.

CBS News reporter David Begnaud traveled to Roma, Texas, in July to cover a story about Texas landowners getting notices about a proposed border wall, Breitbart Texas reported. While shooting a segment along the river, he was shocked to see a group of illegal immigrants making their way across in broad daylight a few hundred yards from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry. He was even more shocked when a man with a two-way radio approached them and told them to leave. Begnaud described being confronted by a man who he later called a “scout.” The “scout” is a person who likely works directly for the cartels that control all illegal crossings of humans and drugs across the Rio Grande River.

“I’ll tell you, we were scared,” he said. “It was ominous to listen to him and he clearly was letting us know that it was time to get out.”

Cabrera said that while the communities along the border appear to be safe, the border areas are not.

“It’s evolved so much,” Agent Cabrera explained. “Years ago, the mentality was ‘they never shoot at a Border Patrol agent.’ They don’t want that kind of heat on them.”

“History has shown, in the not too distant past, that they will shoot at us and they have shot at us,” he explained. “Even civilians, they’ll go after them — anybody that they see as a threat — they’ll go after them and usually it doesn’t turn out well.”

Darby asked the agent who represents more than 1,800 in the Rio Grande Valley Sector if President Donald Trump’s border walls will help with security and safety. “I think so,” he responded. “The criminal organizations are different in every area — from the Rio Grande Valley, all the way to San Diego — everything switches. Just within our area here, a hundred miles or so, it changes drastically.”

“In certain areas where you have a built-up community, you want something more of a concrete and metal, steel, type of wall,” Cabrera continued. “Different areas are going to need different things.”

In the Rio Grande Valley Sector, there are many miles of fencing and walls that have gaps where gates were never installed during the Bush and Obama administrations, Darby said. “In the McAllen area, they put the fence up and they left them wide open,” Cabrera responded. “Finally we got the gates for them. We have an area out in Granjeno, near Mission, that area is built into the levy.”

Cabrera said that the wall and fencing that is currently in incomplete and unconnected sections tend to funnel the migrants to certain crossing points. He explained it is mainly an issue of funding that stops the completion of these sections of the wall.

Last week, the Trump Administration announced plans to expedite the building of these gates, Breitbart Texas reported.

The action comes in response to the rising numbers of migrants crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. The sector is consistently apprehending the largest numbers of migrants illegally crossing the border — particularly family units and unaccompanied minors.

So far this year, the agents Cabrera represents have apprehended 16,752 migrants including 7,094 Family Unit Aliens (FMUA) and 2,234 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in August, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported in September.

Throughout the interview with Darby, Cabrera expresses the dangers created by the cartels who are smuggling massive quantities of drugs and increasing numbers of migrants into the sector.

“The cartel operatives, they live among us,” he stated. “They live not just right along the border. They live in our communities — wherever your community is.”

“Wherever you live (in this county),” Cabrera said, “there are cartel people in your neighborhood.”

“We don’t have heroin problems or meth here in McAllen,” he continued. “That doesn’t stay here. They’re going up to the rest of the United States. They’re going to Indiana — they’re going to Ohio — they’re going to Kansas City, New York, you name it. That stuff doesn’t stay down here.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

(Disclosure: Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles sponsored the Green Line podcast for the NBPC in an effort to provide a platform for agents to inform the public about the realities on the border and what Border Patrol agents face. Director Brandon Darby received an award from the Laredo chapter of the NBPC for his work in helping to defend and bring a voice to Border Patrol agents. Breitbart News assisted in covering funeral costs for a slain Border Patrol agent previously. Darby and Breitbart’s senior management have directly stated and shown that helping to bring a voice to the expressed needs and interests of Border Patrol agents is a top priority–personally, individually and together through Breitbart News.)

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