CBS News reporter Mireya Villerreal could barely believe her ears when she heard the label Customs & Border Patrol Agent Fernando Grijalva had for the situation at the border.
“Let me put it this way, I’ve seen six different presidents in the time that I’ve been with the Border Patrol, and this is the worst crisis that I’ve seen,” Grijalva said.
Stunned, Villerreal asked, “You actually will use that word, ‘crisis’?”
“Yes,” Grijalva confirmed, explaining that the area had become a hotbed for illegal crossings.
Villerreal pointed out a poorly guarded section of border for example. Sharing that some coyotes would be bold enough to drive buses right up to the fence, making illegal immigration a simple as getting off and hopping over.
“Last year, border agents apprehended 52,000 people in this area alone, an increase of more than a thousand apprehensions a month over the previous year,” she commented.
The reporter also expressed her disbelief that Border Patrol agents continued working so hard when the government shutdown is preventing them from being paid.
“I mean they’re working without pay, I mean,” she said, “tomorrow will be the second paycheck that they’re missing.”
Grijalva quickly defended that the men and women of the agency had integrity valued higher than money.
“They believe that strongly in the mission and they know they, and we, have a job to do,” Grijalva responded.