What’s Happening at the Border?

Mar 04, 2023 826.1K Views 2.3K Comments

The border is a complicated situation to say the least. Today we meet up with journalist Jorge Ventura in Yuma, AZ who spends time on both sides of the border, to give us a better understanding of what’s currently going on.

► Jorge’s socials:
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► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

(construction noise)
– What’s interesting,
they have security with
construction workers?
– Yeah, yeah, I’ve never
seen this before here.
– All right, guys,
here with Jorge.
And we’re going to do our best
to unpack ‘the nuances,’ let’s call ’em,
or the confusion in the
situation down here.
And you know both sides really well.
– Yeah, the immigration story,
– Mexican and US side.
is, it’s very complicated
and it’s, you know,
sometimes when you watch the news,
you can’t cover this
issue in a two-minute,
three-minute TV hit.
And lots of Americans who maybe
don’t live near the border
might not know the true situation,
the human suffering aspect side.
– Yeah.
– And also how the local communities
are dealing with this issue as well.
– And it’s become completely polarized.
I guess it always has been.
– Yes.
– The goal of today’s
video is just to drop
as many concrete facts as we
can for everyone of all sides
to just understand what’s going on here.
Okay, we’re gonna try to get down here.
Yeah, I like it. You can slide the Crocs.
Ah, there’s this guy here.
– I was with the sheriff
here, Yuma County Sheriff.
We went all over. It was
unbelievable, crazy day.
One thing that came into the conversation,
She’s saying, “No.”
(Jorge laughing)
Okay. One thing that
came into conversation,
the got-aways and the give-ups.
So some are trying to come over
and get caught by US
Customs Border Protection.
Others wanna sneak in and not get caught.
– What people that
don’t know is a got-away
are individuals that enter
the country illegally.
Border Patrol Agents are able
to detect with technology.
– Yeah.
– But are not,
they don’t have the manpower
to apprehend those individuals.
– Okay.
– Okay. We’ll just cruise by here.
Is that what you want us to do?
– Sorry for all the
restrictions at this point.
– Don’t worry. Thank you
for what you’re doing.
Okay. Got-aways that try to sneak in here.
– Exactly.
– The give-ups want to get caught
because they’re gonna be
brought into the country.
– Mm (affirmative). What’s
interesting is the give-ups
what we’re seeing is just regular migrants
that are literally just escaping.
So like Nicaragua, Venezuela,
that want the better life, right?
So it’s the families.
– I saw Indians yesterday.
– Indians, right?
So you’ll, what you’ll see is,
they’ll enter the country illegally.
They’ll wait for Border Patrol,
and they want to be
apprehended and processed.
– Okay.
– The reason why you have individuals
that don’t want that part
– Yes.
is because they’ve most
likely have already committed
a criminal crime inside the United States
or have been previously deported
and it’s on their record.
– Okay.
– So a got-away
doesn’t wanna see a Border Patrol agent.
A lot of got-aways are
right now, majority men,
and they’ll be actually wearing
the camouflage clothing.
They’ll have these shoes
that would hide footprints.
So they’re actively looking
to evade law enforcement.
And it’s a worry because
we don’t have any information
on these individuals
of who they are.
– Okay.
This is famously known as, “The Yuma Gap,”
Here on this side in Los Algodones,
this is one of the main highways.
– Okay, right up here?
– Here,
used by cartels and smugglers.
They’ll come in multiple vehicle.
They’ll drop off multiple migrants.
The pasture has become
extremely dangerous.
Border Patrol Agents
don’t even go down there
because smugglers are
armed and have knives.
And they collect the
payment in the daytime
from the migrants.
One of my, actually, last
experiences down there,
I was down there reporting,
documenting the smuggler tactics.
One smuggler actually saw
that I was filming him
at the Colorado River, and
he actually took his gun out,
pointed it at me.
– Oh geez.
– And then demanded to, basically,
for me to give him my
phone in Spanish.
I think what just happened to me was,
my mind went to fight or flight
and I just went to flight.
And I ran back here, where I
encountered other reporters.
And then we actually ended
up going back to the video,
getting a screenshot of that individual,
posting it on Twitter.
And the very next day,
Border Patrol Agents here,
actually sent in what
they call, “BORDERTAC,”
which is the tactical
unit of Border Patrol
that’s actually armed and everything.
And they essentially shut down
that human smuggling route
for three or four days
looking for those armed human smugglers.
So this is an area that’s
extremely dangerous.
Border Patrol Agents actually
have been shot from this side,
multiple times.
– Okay.
– And it’s why I believe we see security
with a construction crew down there.
– Okay. How much to get just
across the river right now?
What’s the cost?
– So right here,
just this part, it could be
like a hundred, 200 bucks,
but the whole process
– Oh, okay.
could be up to $6,000
for them to just get to this moment here.
– Okay, so it really depends
on where someone’s coming from.
– Mm (affirmative).
– If someone shows up at the border,
they’re gonna pay a hundred, 200 bucks.
– Yep.
– Just to get a across this.
– Okay. I thought it was way more.
It depends where you’re at
too, and Texas is different.
Every border crossing is different.
– But many of these migrants
have already paid thousands of dollars
just to get to the crossing point.
This is called, “The Colorado River,”
and the US-Mexico border is
right in the middle of it.
So if you’re a migrant,
once you pass that,
you technically have to be taken
in by Border Patrol Agents.
So even if this wall was,
let’s say all the gaps were were filled
and there was migrants that say
are waiting behind the wall,
they’re technically on American soil
so Border Patrol Agents
would have to take ’em in.
– Okay.
– And that’s something that
I think a lot of people don’t know.
– And these guys out here
are all day laborers, right?
– Yep.
– They go back and forth.
– They go back and forth.
– But they have permits or visas.
– Yeah, they go back and
forth from Los Algodones.
A bus will take ’em early in the morning,
take ’em here, they work all day.
And as soon as the shift’s done,
it will take ’em back to Mexico.
(gentle guitar music begins)
(gentle guitar music continues)
– What nationalities can come here
and be taken into the
United States right now?
‘Cause there’s certain ones that
they’re gonna be sent back immediately,
like “Other Than Mexican”,
right? I hear that.
Mexicans can’t come over,
– Mexicans.
they’re gonna be deported immediately.
– Immediately.
Majority of Hondurans and Guatemalans
are getting sent back immediately,
unless they come in with kids.
And then they make that
argument that they’re a family.
But if you’re an individual
coming from that country,
you have basically no
chance of staying here.
– Okay, so how does that work?
Who decides what countries?
That’s just a federal government…
– It’s the federal government
also making agreements
with those countries.
So last year the federal
government had a lot of issue
deporting Venezuelans
because Venezuela would
not accept those bodies.
And then…
– Ah…
– Then the federal government said,
they communicated with Mexico, “Hey Mexico,
would you take these
Venezuelan nationals?”
And Mexico said, “No.”
Now, this year started.
The Biden administration
did extend Title 42,
so it’s a Trump era
policy that they extended.
– For those that don’t know,
that was for COVID to not
let foreign nationals in,
– And that, yeah.
– That gave the federal
government the ability
to immediately expel migrants
– Okay.
without having an immigration hearing.
Now, with the new administration,
when they came in,
they said, “Hey, we
wanna overturn Title 42.”
Right now it’s in the Supreme Court
so we probably won’t get
that decision till June.
But what the administration
did also do is,
and they’re getting hit
from their own base on this,
is they ended up actually
extending Title 42
to Cubans,
– Okay.
Nicaraguans and Haitians.
And they just got Mexico to agree
to take Venezuelan nationals.
– I met some Colombians yesterday.
– Mm-hmm (affirmative).
– Ecuadorians, they’re okay with Title 42
to come in.
– They will not be deported
under Title 42,
’cause Mexico will not
accept those nationalities.
– Ah, that explains a lot.
– Yeah, Mexico’s cooperation
– No, that…
is such a big deal on this.
So when Trump was in office,
he pressured Mexico
and then that’s when you
had the controversial policy
called, “Migration Protection Protocol,”
which is the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.
– Yeah.
– So if you cross illegally,
even though you do wanna
make an asylum claim,
the federal government will then place you
in a Mexican border town
and you would have to wait
in that Mexican border town
for your asylum case.
– Okay.
– That’s why under the
previous administration
we saw the deterrence, right?
Because if you’re a
migrant, the thinking was,
“Well, why would I spend money
for smugglers and cartels
and putting my life in danger,
only to be told to wait in a
Mexican town, which sometimes,
that Mexican town could be more dangerous
than the home country they’re fleeing
because cartel control
or Mexican police control it.
– Right.
– There’s no incentive to really come up.
– Right.
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Now, back to the video.
– What’s going on right now,
and what I find missing from most media,
most of these migrants coming
here are claiming asylum.
– Mm-hmm (affirmative).
– They’re fleeing from
terrible conditions.
Now, when you break down into,
let’s just call it a ‘pie graph,’ right?
What percentage of that pie graph
are legitimate asylum cases,
meaning they go to the courts
and the courts determine,
“This is a legitimate asylum case,
we’re letting the person in,”
versus, “They’re just claiming
asylum to get in right now.”
Because from my understanding,
the courts are backed
up two years or more?
– A conservative number
– Yeah.
would be 15% are legit asylum claims.
I would even go as low as
as 10 and maybe even lower.
– Okay, where do you get the number from?
– So I’m speaking to
sources in DHS who are,
what they’re telling me is,
“90% of the people coming
– Okay.
are what they’re calling
‘economic migrants’
coming for the economic reason.
– Okay. Yeah.
– And that is just not gonna
make a strong enough case
in court when they’re gonna
look for proof of either,
fearing political persecution,
some type of political violence
from their home country.”
– So the best thing I found
online, best scholarly source,
it was from 2020, I believe?
I’ll drop it in here.
They were saying, I believe,
“72% are illegitimate.”
– Migrants who could make that case
right now the best
– Right.
would be the Russians
that we’re running into.
And Russian’s actually come through this.
This is one of the more unique
human smuggling operations here in Yuma.
Now in this place, just this spot alone,
I’ve encountered migrants from
over 50 different countries.
So we’re talking from obviously,
Central America up to South America.
So Peru, Brazil, Columbia,
Venezuela, of course.
Cubans in the Caribbean,
– Uh-huh (affirmative).
and all the way from people
from Uzbekistan, Georgia.
I ran into folks from Afghanistan
and I’ve also met Chinese nationals.
But right now, lately, I’ve
been seeing an increase,
a number of the amount of
Russians who are coming here,
seeing that they are
fleeing Putin’s regime.
So they might have the strongest case
for a legit asylum claim.
– Okay.
How much do you think they’re paying
to get over here, or it’s
actually pretty easy for them,
I think because they can fly
to Mexico without a visa,
from my understanding.
– Yes.
– They’re flying to
Mexicali, which is, what,
20 miles that way?
– Mm-hmm (affirmative).
– They’re getting
transportation to ride over here
and then they’re just coming up.
So they’re not doing the long hard slog
through Central America,
through Mexico coming up here.
They’re actually flying.
– The nickname that
they’re calling it here
is they’re calling it,
“The long distant migrant.”
And that’s because they
found out a system,
where if you fly into the
Mexicali Airport from there,
and the locals actually, from
the migrants I spoke with,
kind of know how the operations work.
They then convince the migrants
that they could take
’em to a crossing point
and they facilitate ’em here.
What’s particularly interesting is,
I was speaking with the Cubans, right,
’cause a lot of my audience is asking me,
“Well, how are Cubans
from this little island
getting to Mexico then
crossing into Yuma?”
So when I was speaking with Cubans,
what they told me was,
– Right.
they can’t fly directly to Mexico
because Mexico requires
a visa from the Cubans.
So what Cubans do is they
fly directly to Nicaragua.
Cubans do not need a visa
to fly into Nicaragua.
They’ll fly from Nicaragua.
From there, they’ll then
begin their journey.
What the Cuban nationals have
also told me is that because
the Cuban officials in Cuba
know this kind of operation,
they actually charge these
people about 4,000 to $6,000
just for the plane ticket to Nicaragua.
So even Cuban officials know
– Wow.
that the Cubans going to Nicaragua
will not be coming back to Cuba.
– Okay, so when the Cuban
spends the four thou,
three, $4,000 on a plane
ticket, they get to Nicaragua,
they have to pay the cartels
to get ’em up here.
– Yep.
– What’s that cost right now?
– That could also range
between $2000 to $6,000.
And lots of these migrants,
– $2,000 to $6,000, okay.
especially the ones coming
from Central America
and South America,
– Yeah.
the cartels are now experts
in getting those people
contacting actually the family,
relatives in the United States,
even getting the people in
America like their family members
to send them money to
the coyotes or smugglers
and bring them up that process.
So I’ve interviewed
Central American families here in the US,
South American families here in the US,
that have done that process
where they send in five grand
to the determined coyote,
a smuggler that they have no idea.
And they’re essentially
putting their trust
that this smuggler’s
gonna bring their family
to the US border.
What folks maybe that don’t know is,
Arizona leads the
country in the got-aways.
And those are the criminals coming in,
folks in camouflage also running drugs in.
One of the kind of complex
tactics that we see is,
around here every night,
two in the morning,
we come here, we actually,
we will go behind this wall
and there’s a human smuggling route.
And what we’ll do is you’ll
see about 30-car drop off
in the middle of the night
dropping people off in these highways.
And armed human smugglers
will then guide these people
through the brushes and then direct ’em
to basically run around this border wall
and essentially wait for
Border Patrol right here.
So this is one of the routes
that the cartel controls.
It’s a tactic that they’ve used.
And what they’ll do on
the American side then,
like for Border Patrol Agents
just like this man here,
and the local sheriffs,
it overwhelms the local resources, right?
‘Cause they all have to pay attention
to these migrants.
– Yeah, sure.
– And then when that happens,
those gaps open up for got-aways
and then for drugs to
be run into the country.
– And so what about human trafficking,
sex trafficking, that sort of thing?
Is that common?
Is it very rare?
– It’s very common.
– Or hard to know?
– No, it’s very common.
– Now what might actually
surprised people,
and that surprised me is,
speaking to women migrants who
shared their stories with me,
they’ve actually been sexually
assaulted and raped more
by Mexican police than
actual narco traffickers.
I’ve actually had migrants tell,
women migrants tell me
that they’re more afraid
of the Mexican police than
the actual narco traffickers
that control the borders.
– Jesus.
– We were reporting here last year,
there was a 10-year-old
boy that was laying here
on the dirt
– Okay.
completely passed out and we
didn’t know what was going on.
So these two women pick up this boy,
and they take him to Border Patrol.
And as they’re walking up, I’m
trying to get an interview.
Say, “Hey, what’s going on with this boy?”
And what the two migrant
women mentioned to me,
and this is the story of many is that,
“This boy was abandoned
in Mexicali by smugglers.
He was actually left naked,”
is what they told me.
And they basically dressed up this boy,
hiked him up from Mexicali into Yuma
as they were crossing as well.
And then when they went
to go turn the boy in,
we actually lifted up his sleeves,
and he had his grandfather’s
Uh-huh (affirmative).
phone number, back in
Guatemala, written on his arm.
It’s actually quite common to see
unaccompanied minors come to the border,
and then them having written phone numbers
of the relatives back home.
So lots of these kids get sent
to the border by themselves,
unaccompanied from,
right now the majority are
coming from Central America,
the unaccompanied migrants.
– The kids are being sent by themselves
just to get into the United States.
– Mm-hmm (affirmative).
– But I’ve also heard kids
are like being rented?
Is that correct?
– Yeah.
– Like come with people, ’cause
if you come in with kids,
your chances are way
better. Is that correct?
– And that is correct.
– Okay.
– And so far there’s been over
250,000 unaccompanied minors
that have reached the border.
According to Axials,
they’re actually saying
that one out of three
unaccompanied children
that are released inside
the United States,
the government is now losing track of.
And the reason why the
government is losing track of
is because the system is so overwhelmed
when it comes to the
vetting of the sponsors,
they don’t have enough time
to do a complete vetting process.
So when they do release that child,
when they end up doing the follow-up,
they’re losing that child
inside the United States now.
– So what happened there? Are
those people walking through?
– Yeah, so as soon as they came over
a Border Patrol agent apprehended.
They looked like they wanted
to give themselves up.
And it’s a pretty smooth process.
They’re not gonna try to run away.
And Border Patrol right now
could handle that, right?
A couple people, put ’em in the truck,
but later at night is when
they’ll be completely overwhelmed
and they’ll need the big school buses
to bring these groups in.
– So what about the argument,
like let’s just say,
the majority are fleeing
terrible situations.
Why not let just everybody in,
just an endless amount of people in?
We’re a wealthy country, we’re hosp…
We’re open to the world.
We’re a country of immigrants, right?
– Mm (affirmative).
The argument then from the
other side would, it’s gonna be,
“If we just let everyone in,
it will then actually hurt
American workers on this side.”
And there’s actually this
kind of famous interview
back in 2015 of Bernie Sanders.
He’s actually being interviewed
by this progressive journalist.
And the progressive
journalist ask him, “Hey,
how come we just don’t let
in the global poor, right,
like the poorest people,
let ’em come here,
let them work?”
– Yeah.
– And then Bernie kind of
scoffs at the question and goes,
“that’s a Koch brothers conspiracy.”
And the guy goes, “What do you mean?”
He goes, “Well,
if we just had a complete
open border system,
corporations in the US will
then undermine American wages,
and there would be no incentive
to raise American wages.”
– Yeah, sure.
– So that’s why you actually
have Establishment Republicans
and Establishment Democrats
kind of agreeing on,
if the term is called, “Open border,”
because they want an influx
to basically have workers
for those corporations,
and then undermine
– Right.
the American worker so that’s
an argument from there.
Obviously, it’s a national security issue.
So you just have to vet everyone
that comes into the country.
– Sure.
– A lot of the folks who are got-aways
have committed sex crimes here.
– Yep.
– And I’ve talked to
reporters that reported that.
So it’s a complex issue.
I think right now, the big thing is
that we have a massive backlog.
The last number that we
got from DHS right now,
they’re backed up 1.6 million
asylum cases are pending right now.
So even if I told you 100,000,
that’s a massive backlog.
They’re at 1.6 million.
That’s why it’s quite common
if you speak to a migrant
and they are giving ’em an asylum hearing,
it could be three years or more…
– Okay.
– Till that case is
gonna be heard in court.
– And so this is what I’ve learned
in my few journeys to the border.
The majority of them are
not legitimate asylum cases.
They’re economic migrants,
like you were stating.
So they know they’re
not gonna win in court,
therefore they don’t show up,
therefore they stay in the US
sort of in this quasi illegal status.
And then perhaps in eight years
they get pulled over for a
speeding ticket, deported,
they raise their kids
here, one big mess, right?
– Well, this could also happen too,
which is the majority of the cases,
when they get pulled over,
they’re actually technically,
still allowed to be in the US now.
When they miss their court hearing,
that’s when ICE gets notified.
And what we’re seeing now, a quite,
it’s a trend really among
major cities is that
local law enforcement will not work
with the federal government.
So if you’re, let’s say you’re
in LA County where I’m from.
And you get pulled over as an illegal
that missed their court
dates for a speeding ticket.
That cop will probably just
literally give him a citation,
but not inform ICE, not
inform federal government.
And that’s gonna be up to ICE to then
go find that individual.
– Okay.
The issue is, you have literally,
millions of those individuals
all over the country.
– Right. So you’re not
anti-immigrant per se.
So what’s the right way to do this then?
What are your thoughts?
You’ve been down here a lot
and you’ve been on the…
I wanna get into this, you’ve
been on the Mexican side a lot
and you speak fluent Spanish,
so you have a different perspective too.
What’s your best scenario
to deal with this situation?
‘Cause it’s not easy.
– Yeah, it’s… The big thing is,
if we could somehow clear
this massive backlog
of asylum cases.
And have it where migrants
could enter the country
legally and safe.
And if they want to have
their asylum case heard,
that we could have like a speedy trial,
where they have that case
heard within 30 days.
Because the issue with the
Remain in Mexico policy,
even though it’s popular with Republicans,
is that it does put
migrants in danger, right?
Because you’re…
– Right.
You’re placing them in
this Mexican border town,
which they’re not… unfamiliar.
– Yeah.
– It’s controlled by narco traffickers.
And their case could go,
they might not even hear
a case for a whole year.
– Right.
– So that puts those folks in danger.
At the end of the day,
no one is blaming for migrants
coming to the United States.
We all get it. I would honestly,
if I was born in El Salvador today,
I would be on this journey too.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– The thing is, the policies right now
incentivize the cartels
and human smugglers,
because essentially,
the smugglers have the
selling point to the migrants,
saying, “Hey, we’ll bring you to the US
and as soon as you cross
over, you’ll get released
and then you’re in the United States.”
And to the credit of the cartels,
they’re completely correct.
So if they bring them up and
these folks touch US soil,
the majority of ’em
are gonna get released.
So there’s no incentivized,
there’s no deterrents.
And right now the people who
are banking in are smugglers,
cartels and they’re…
I mean, the sex crimes and everything
that I’ve been interviewing
with women is unspeakable.
So right now, the whole system is broken.
And I think the backlog is the main thing.
– Okay.
– And if we had that clear backlog,
it would’ve, I think,
incentivized migrants
to just continue to enter
through the port of entry.
Now, if you’re a migrant,
I don’t blame ’em for not
going through a port of entry
because the asylum case is
taking so long to be heard.
You almost, you know, there’s,
when your life is on the line
and you wanna feed your kids,
you’re gonna do anything.
– Yeah.
– So these folks are gonna be like,
“Well, we’re not gonna wait.
We’re gonna, we rather cross now.”
And for some of these folks,
even if they’re deported under Title 42,
one of the positives
for them under Title 42
is that it doesn’t go on your record.
So if you are deported under Title 42…
– Okay.
– You could essentially try again
without having a strike on your record.
(gentle guitar music begins)
(indistinct chatter)
– So this is Yuma Regional Center.
– Okay.
– And this is where
injured migrants are taken to be treated.
Sometimes smugglers will
just drop off migrants
who are injured.
They’ll just kind of be
laying on the ground
– Yeah.
on the street.
A lot of folks suffer
obviously dehydration out here
in the Arizona deserts
and things like that.
The CEO of this hospital is now saying
that they have over $20
million in unpaid services,
and the federal government
as of right now,
has not reimbursed them
for those services.
– Okay.
– This is where we kind of see the impact
on local resources and the manpower here.
And this hospital is being
hit hard by that right now.
– Is that the federal
government’s responsibility
or whose responsibility is it, legally?
– Anything with migrants is
legally federal government.
So one question that I get asked
a lot Peter
– Okay. Yeah.
– And maybe you get asked
this covering the border is,
“Well why can’t local law
enforcement just deport them?”
Or, that’s what I always get.
“Why can’t a cop just pick
’em up and send ’em back?”
It’s because since they are
a federal government problem,
it all has to be done by the feds.
– I’m liking Yuma.
– Oh, me too.
– It’s beautiful, huh?
– It’s beautiful.
– I mean the people are nice.
– Super friendly here. Super friendly!
Morning walks every morning.
– They got great food.
– People are like, “Hey,
how are you doing,”
out of the park.
– A lot of border towns
are like that, right?
They’re very tight
knit, family orientated.
Majority of folks are working class.
– Yeah. Maybe that’s it.
It has like this 90s
feel of tight community.
And maybe I got it wrong,
but that’s what at
least where I’m staying,
I walk down, everyone says, “Hi.”
– Yeah. And I could tell
the difference, man,
being from California,
not everyone says hi to you.
(both laughing)
So it’s nice, it’s nice to be
treated like a regular person.
– It’s a good place to
be human. Yuma, Arizona.
(traffic whoosing)
So here we go, downtown
Yuma, main streets.
– This is where all the action happens.
– Charming downtown.
There were some ladies that
didn’t want to be on camera,
but they said when the
surge was happening here
a couple months ago,
you wouldn’t feel it at all down here.
Like you wouldn’t know.
– They wouldn’t know,
– You wouldn’t know.
which is the opposite of when
you’re in like South Texas.
I mean those folks see it instantly.
– Right, so if you’re
not paying attention to
good reporting like yours,
– Thank you sir.
you’re like, “No issue.”
So to get a totally different perspective,
we’d go to the NGOs,
talk with some of the people
there who are gonna be more,
doesn’t matter where you’re
from or what the rules are,
everyone-should-be-let-in types.
– Yes.
– I don’t want to oversimplify.
– And lots of the NGOs,
their responsibility is
to coordinate the travel
– Okay.
for the migrants so…
– That’s their job.
– Yeah. I was just in Denver.
They have about 3000 migrants
that’ve been dropped off since December.
– Yeah.
– Those are coming from Catholic churches
and NGOs in El Paso.
So they’re not necessarily being bused
by Governor Greg Abbott.
They’re being bused by
the Catholic Churches
to relieve those communities.
– Why are the Catholic
charities involved with this?
Do you know that story?
– Basically, when Border Patrol
is completely overwhelmed,
– Yeah.
they look at NGOs and
churches to get some relief
and they’ll leave it up to
them to coordinate the travel.
When those NGOs coordinate
the travel, in some cases,
the federal government
will reimburse that NGO
or that Catholic Church.
– And I’ve heard
different numbers on that,
so I can’t speak credibly about it,
but there’s money in that.
– Yes.
There’s still gonna be
investigations I think leading up,
I know Texas Governor Greg Abbott
wants some attention
– Okay.
paid the NGOs in South Texas,
but they are reimbursed.
And they’re coordinating
thousands of traveling migrants
whether it’s through airplane,
through busing programs.
Like I said, just in Denver
alone, since early December,
3000 migrants have been brought up.
They’re all coming from El Paso.
– Right.
– 90% right now, Venezuela.
– How do they feel about it in
Denver or it’s hard to tell?
– In Denver, they’re on
the brink of an emergency
’cause they already have a homeless issue.
So you now have Venezuelan migrants
using up the homeless
resources there in Denver.
And when I was there reporting,
these Venezuelan migrants
don’t know where to go.
They don’t know where to work.
So the only jobs they’re able to work
is plowing snow for businesses right now.
– Okay, but is that a sanctuary city?
– Yes.
– Does that have anything to do with it?
Like it’s better to go
to a sanctuary city?
– Yeah.
– Okay.
– So it’s a sanctuary city.
The mayor is a Democrat.
The governor is a Democrat
and just recently,
New York Mayor Adams and the
mayor of Chicago, Lightfoot,
actually penned a letter to
the Colorado governor and said,
“Please stop busing migrants to our cities
because our cities have been overwhelmed
by the governor’s buses of Texas.”
– So have you spent time south?
You spent a lot of time
south of the border,
– Yes sir.
– Okay, so you, what
is the feel down there?
You speak fluent Spanish,
you can listen to everybody.
What’s the take there?
How are they dealing with it?
What’s the story on that side?
– If you speak to the locals,
they understand why the
migrants wanna come to the US.
– Yep.
– They just don’t agree
how it’s being done.
And they feel that their
towns are being over overrun
and controlled by narco traffickers.
One of the towns that
had a really unique feel
was Piedras Negras, Mexico.
– Okay.
– And what’s across from
that is Eagle Pass, Texas.
– Right.
– And when I was there,
after reporting and talking to locals
and speaking with sources,
the cartel there is actually
thee Mexican police.
So you actually, when
you’re on the ground,
you see Mexican police
facilitate some of the smuggling,
or just like allow it to
happen and turn their back.
And that scares the locals
’cause they feel like they can’t almost,
they can’t live peacefully in their city
knowing that basically
you have your own police
involved with narco trafficking
and human smuggling.
– So it’s not just a US border problem,
it’s a Mexican border problem.
– Yes.
And then the countries are
also impacted on the way.
So I’ve been speaking with
locals in Panama, a lot of small
business owners,
– Yeah.
who are telling us that now
their towns are being overrun
by narco traffickers
moving in this massive wave of migrants.
And that’s kind of the
other issue you don’t see
is how it impacts those countries.
The city of Tapachula,
which is the very first
border town in Mexico,
after you cross from Guatemala,
they’ve been almost completely taken over
by just having thousands of migrants come.
And the reason why we
saw the Haitian migration
in September, 2021
is because so many Haitians
were bottling up in Tapachula,
Mexican officials basically
gave ’em legal permits
to travel through Mexico to
cross illegally in the US.
– Okay.
A lot of those Haitians came from Chile
and other countries, right?
– Yeah, a lot of those, the Haitians,
have been living in Chile
for at least five years.
They speak fluent Spanish
and have middle class jobs back in Chile.
(traffic whoosing)
– I’m very much surprised how cheap
produce and products are here.
– Oh man. Coming from Cali, dude,
everything is cheap to me.
– Yeah.
– Coming from Cali,
the first thing you do is
stare at the gas station,
and look at the prices and be like,
“Oh my gosh!”
– Look at, two pair of jeans for 15 bucks?
Avocados. 69 cents.
– At least a buck 25 in Cali.
– Yeah.
– Yeah. Yeah.
– Maybe I just buy all my avocados
and smuggle them back to
the Golden State. (laughing)
– Have you been back to El Salvador?
– No, man!
– You’ve never been there.
– But I’m planning to go this year.
– So your parents didn’t
want you to get back there?
– Well my dad just returned last year
’cause a new president,
Bukele, according to him,
has turned everything around.
– Okay.
– So Bukele has been really
aggressive against MS-13.
And my dad said, he came back
and the economy’s doing great.
He feels safer than ever.
And for the first time, El
Salvador’s finally booming back,
which is like the complete opposite
of what our neighbors like
Guatemala and Nicar…
Nicaragua is going through
the absolute worst right now.
But El Salvador’s on the up and up,
which is pretty interesting,
for us it’s great
’cause we never had the
country at a good point.
The last time my dad
got to see his country,
it was a civil war,
and him being forced to fight
in it for the government.
And then now,
– Wow.
he could come back as an
adult, established the US,
and actually enjoy it and everything.
So it’s kind of a cool story, man,
honestly, of what’s happening over there.
– What’s he feel about this situation
right now at the border?
– He understands it.
He feels the people, but for him it’s,
he feels like the people are watering down
what it means to be a US citizen,
by just coming in the
way they are, illegally.
So for him it’s just like, he gets it,
but he wants these migrants
to just do it legally
and not overwhelm the resources
and everything like that.
It’s kind of calmed down
a little bit, right?
– I guess, but if you’re not
telling us what’s going on,
we don’t know!
– Yeah, that’s so true.
– Right? So you’re…
Yeah man, this is the guy, huh?
I trip out on how many people
follow you around here.
– Oh yeah.
– Yeah.
– I was actually speaking
to a local reporter.
She’s like, “You have
a lot of fans in Yuma.”
I was like, “Really?”
– Yeah.
– And I’m like, “That’s good though.”
– We don’t know what’s going on really
unless you tell us what’s going on.
– When the Feds that were
secretly flying out migrants…
– Oh yeah, we had a bunch of pictures.
– He got a bunch of pictures leaked.
– It originally started happening
when all the people were
crossing the border.
We didn’t see it.
We only heard about it.
It was just rumblings.
We just saw pieces of it
when planes would leave
at five in the morning
or four in the morning,
and somebody snapping some pictures of ’em
because there’s a immigration customs bus
bringing ’em in to the airport.
It’s like, “So what’s going on?”
That was our first glimpse of it.
That’s like, “What is this all about?”
– Right?
– So you would see all
these people get off
and it’s barely light, right?
So they’re doing it at
four in the morning,
depending on the season
and when the sun rises.
And then people would
just get off of this bus
and then go around and get on a plane.
And so we didn’t feel it
then until it got too much,
and then too much for them
to handle and the overspill.
And the NGOs weren’t able to
handle and do all the things
because they were running outta resources,
and then people were
just left on the streets.
And then you had started
to interact with people
’cause it wasn’t that smooth of a process.
– So Jonny, give us a
rundown. Jorge was saying,
you’re the guy
– Okay.
that knows the situation.
You’re saying, he’s the guy
that knows the situation,
– Jorge is the guy, yeah.
– But you live here!
– Well, we live here,
and we used to have a good relationship
with the Border Patrol.
We were with the Public
Information Officer
for quite a bit of time and
we would get daily updates,
would find out what’s going on.
But since Biden is in office,
we no longer have that
privilege and it’s tight-lipped.
– How do people feel about
the situation in Yuma?
Because if you walk around downtown Yuma,
you wouldn’t know anything’s going on.
Is there, are people involved with it?
Are they ignoring it?
What’s the vibe here?
– So the people, we get involved with it
because you see them.
– Yeah.
– They’ll come up to you,
they’ll ask you for stuff.
So you get involved by
talking to them
– Sure.
or where can I get my phone?
I’m promised, they know they’re
gonna get a phone somewhere.
So a lot of times they’re asking,
“Where can I get my phone?”
– They get a phone?
– Yeah, they get a phone.
– Free phone?
They get a free phone.
– Okay.
– Yeah, they get a free phone.
They come over here and they
try to find out certain things.
And I got a story if you want it.
– Hit me, hit me.
– Christmas morning,
Christmas lands on a Sunday,
I’m at service, I go to a service
at a little tiny home church
of Winterhaven, California.
6:00 AM, we did it morning
like a sunrise service.
– Sure.
– Four people from
Honduras knock on the door
at 6:00 AM.
– Okay.
– And they just got done walking 11 hours,
and it was three men and one woman.
And the girl could barely walk.
She could just, she was just doing this,
like so slow
– Right.
and so worn out.
And they just said, “Can
we just get some water?
Can we,” you know…
– Uh-huh (affirmative).
– They knew Spanish
and the one of the
parishioners knew Spanish.
And so we took ’em in,
we let ’em sleep for a
little while, let ’em rest.
They rested in the back,
got ’em some new clothes that were wet.
All their clothes were wet.
They must have came through the river.
So Winterhaven, that’s
where the border is,
is in Winterhaven, California,
– Okay. Okay.
the Algodones border.
So we kind of see that quite a bit,
but this is the first
time real interaction.
And it’s a church so
we did the church thing
and we took care of ’em.
– Sure.
And we got ’em some clean clothes
and stuff like that.
– Sure.
– They slept for like three
hours in the little back room.
They were just out like
that soon as they went down.
– So your humanity came through,
you wanted to help them.
– Yeah, that’s what it was, right?
Because you’re seeing it that close.
And even when I brought it up
on the radio show the next day
I got a lot of flack.
– Okay.
– “You should have
called the Border Patrol.
You shoulda did this.
– Yeah.
– You shoulda… Why didn’t
you call, turn ’em in?”
But turn ’em into who, what, what?
Nobody’s doing anything right now.
It’s just they, their nature…
– Border Patrol won’t do anything?
– No! They catch ’em and they release ’em,
until their court date.
– Yeah, yeah.
– These people were actually
on the way to San Francisco
and they had a route already set up.
They knew what trains to jump.
They were gonna jump a train.
– Oh.
– They were gonna go down to the train
where they know the trains meet.
– Yeah.
– And they were gonna jump a train.
And they were gonna get
all the way from there
to Los Angeles, from Los
Angeles to San Francisco,
where one of ’em was
promised a job as a mechanic.
– In one sentence, I’ll
give you two if you need it.
– Okay.
– How would you sum up
this current situation
on the border?
– It’s definitely a crisis,
but it’s like a silent crisis
that you’re not really
supposed to talk about.
– You’re not supposed to…
Okay, we’re gonna go way
more than two sentences
’cause this is interesting.
– Okay.
“You’re not supposed to
talk about,” says who?
– Well, it’s like a little,
it’s a secret. It’s a…
There was a time where
there was a whole hotel
that was taped off. It was cons…
It was all taped off and they
had security at the front
and you couldn’t ask
what was going on there.
I asked, I’m nosy.
So I showed up, “What’s going on here?”
And they say, “We can’t tell you.”
– In Yuma?
– In Yuma, yeah.
– There was hotels,
there was a few of ’em.
There was a couple of ’em actually.
And the whole place was set up
for the migrants to come in,
or illegal aliens, whatever
you want to call ’em,
asylum seekers, and they
were put up in a hotel.
When it was brought to the mayor, “Well,
it’s good for the economy
because the hotel’s sold out.”
So which is it, right?
Is it good for the economy
or what are we doing here?
But then it’s through a lot of NGOs,
non-government organizations,
that have raised the money to put it up.
And so you see it,
we know it’s not supposed to be happening,
but you just like, you just go with it.
– What you just said connected with me.
“What are we doing here?”
– I’ve talked to Border
Patrol Agents off air,
and they have the same
question, “What are we doing?”
Off the record, they feel
like human smugglers.
I grew up in Yuma, Arizona,
we’re right at the border.
A lot of my friends became
Border Patrol Agents.
They’re honorable, they
wanted to do a good job.
For a long time, they were
proud of what they were doing.
Now, that morale is gone,
and they all have to be quiet about it.
Even talking to me about it,
even off air or off record,
is still like, it’s a…
They just kind of put their heads down.
– They’ll lose their jobs?
– If they, yeah!
If they talk about it
too much on social media.
You can’t talk about it, but…
And so they’re just careful about it
and they’re just upset
about what they’re doing,
’cause it used to be a process.
They used to know what they were doing.
Now they don’t know what’s going on
and nobody’s really allowed
to ask those questions.
Here’s the biggest thing that upset me,
is when our senators came.
They came to the border,
it was gonna be a big deal.
Our local news station went out
and covered the border
and it was cleaned up.
It was totally cleaned up.
There was nobody in line or
nobody getting processed.
– No trash. The sheriff told
me there was a ton of trash.
They cleaned up the trash.
– They cleaned up the trash.
– Yeah.
– Cleaned up everything.
And it was six in the
morning when the news,
right when I was getting
ready to go on air,
our local news station tweeted that out.
I said, “What the heck?”
And he did a side-by-side picture
of what it looked the week previous,
until the day the senators come.
So they came and they saw nothing.
They saw nothing.
They saw a cleaned up
border. Who’s doing that?
Who told ’em to clean up?
How did cartels know, don’t run it?
Today’s not the day.
Those are the questions we have, but…
– All right, we’ll keep at it, Jonny.
– Yeah.
– Thank you.
– I will, man.
Your radio station, can people
listen all over the country
or what’s the story?
– Yeah, so Russ Clark,
the Russ Clark Show.
You can find that on Facebook
and then you could just tune in.
We broadcast every day
on Twitter, Facebook.
– Let’s go.
– You wanna do it? Do it.
– Yeah, get him in.
– So, Mike?
– Yes, sir.
– All right, you live here in Yuma.
I’m just gonna put this right here.
– Yeah, we’ve been here about 27 years.
– 27 years.
– We came from LA, actually East LA.
– Okay, so tell us the story in brief,
what’s with the border right
now? What are your thoughts?
– Well, the border,
nothing’s been done about it.
Ever since Biden took over it’s just,
don’t know wants to touch the subject.
– Do you guys feel like
you’ve been left out?
Like no one’s paying attention to you?
– Yeah, exactly, because
they pay more attention
to Texas,
– Okay.
than we do here in the
small town of Yuma, Arizona.
We’re like, you know, pushed to the side.
That’s exactly how the way I see it.
– That’s how you guys feel.
– Mm-hmm (affirmative).
– Look at the governor
of Texas, what he did.
He got a bunch of people,
send ’em to New York,
or those other, other, other,
you know,
– Sure.
California, whatever.
But here in Arizona,
especially this part up here,
I don’t think they care for us, honestly,
until they start for reelection again.
That’s when they’re gonna talk about it.
That’s when they’re gonna bring it up.
“Oh, we’re gonna do this
or we’re gonna do that,”
but it’ll never happen.
– You know?
– It’ll never happen.
– Frustrating.
– Yeah, it is frustrating.
Peter, nice to meet you.
– Thanks Mike.
– Appreciate it.
– Now you’re in a video.
– Yeah.
(everyone laughing)
(overlapping indistinct chatter)
– Appreciate it, thanks.
– All right, Jorge, thank
you man, for bringing us in,
giving us a lot of the little details
that I find are always missing
when I hear a border story.
And I’m sure we miss some of them today.
It’s a complex story.
– Yep.
– There’s a lot to it.
We’re not talking to
legitimate asylum seekers
that had just suffered and dealt with
the most horrific BS on the planet, right?
Like those people exist,
but also the people that
are economic migrants exist.
– Right, right.
– And usually, when you’re
watching a story on the border,
someone picks a side and they
just show one side, right?
And I just wanna make sure you guys know.
Watch all sorts of
content on this situation,
but also know a lot is
being left out right now.
And it shouldn’t be,
because no matter where
you stand politically,
it really shouldn’t be a political issue.
It should be like
humanitarian crisis.
– Mm-hmm (affirmative).
– This is unsustainable.
We need to figure out some
sort of solution down the road.
– Yeah, and Peter, we’re
glad that you came down
to shine a light on this issue.
It’s a really important
one. It’s a complex one.
It’s one where,
– Yeah.
if people don’t live next to the border,
they might not understand
– Sure.
kind of the impact.
So I feel like this is an
important story and hopefully,
this just creates
conversation between people.
– Yeah.
– And hopefully,
finding solutions down the road.
– Guys, Jorge’s work,
I’m gonna leave his links
down below, check him out.
He does the ‘on the border’ content,
the stuff that I can’t really get into,
speaks fluent Spanish.
Big help on the Mexican
side a lot of the times.
So really, really interesting content.
Thanks again, bro. Appreciate it.
– Thanks, Peter.
– And until the next one.
Oh! Sheriff videos.
Watch those on the border,
I just shot one yesterday.
It should be posted around here.
Quite unbelievable.
(gentle guitar music begins)
All right, until the next one.
(gentle guitar music fades)

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