While many people in the mainstream media have said they do not consider the situation at the border between the United States and Mexico a serious problem, one reporter with CBS News was surprised to hear an agent of the Border Patrol actually refer to the setting as a “crisis.”
During an interview with Fernando Grijalva, correspondent Mireya Villarreal was taken aback when the agent called the setting “the worst crisis I’ve ever seen.”
“You actually use that word, ‘crisis,’” Villarreal stated.
Grijalva simply responded: “Yes.”
CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor introduced the report by stating: “This was a busy day at the Arizona border” and claiming that the correspondent “shows us the challenges agents face even when there is a barrier.”
Villarreal began with a video of dozens of people sitting near the border as she said: “This group is part of 180 migrants apprehended this morning by Arizona agents.”
She then noted that the agent “says this area has become a hotbed for illegal crossings.”
“I’ve seen six different presidents in the time that I’ve been with the Border Patrol,” Grijalva stated, “and this is the worst crisis that I’ve seen.”
Villarreal also noted: “The agent says these patrols are dangerous, but that hasn’t stopped him or agents from doing their jobs despite not being paid because of the shutdown.”
“I mean, they’re working without pay,” she continued. “I mean, tomorrow will be the second paycheck that they’re missing.”
In addition, Villarreal recorded a segment as she walked along a wooden fence with a large road in the background:
In this part of the border, this is the only barrier between the United States and Mexico. Just over it is a major highway. Buses come right through here. Migrants get off, and then they walk right into the United States.
Last year, border agents apprehended 52,000 people in this area alone, an increase of more than 1,000 apprehensions a month over the previous year.
As NewsBusters previously reported, this wasn’t the first time Villarreal has reported on a development at the nation’s southern border.
Last June, CBS News was the only broadcast network of the big three (ABC, CBS and NBC) to inform viewers of an ambush on the border that left a Border Patrol agent in critical condition.
“In a desolate part of southern Arizona near the Mexican border, a lone agent investigating activity picked up by sensors was ambushed,” she reported.
However, in February of 2017, the CBS website aired a special titled: “The Wall -- A Nation Divided,” when Villarreal asked an agent: “There are a lot of people on the [reservation] that don’t want a border wall. How do you wrestle with that?”
Apparently, that’s as close to “fair and balanced” as CBS News gets.