Reporter Stumbles Upon Human Trafficking on Camera, Criminal Turns on Him


It wasn’t the story the reporter was going for, but it’s the one that has to be told.

When David Begnaud of CBS went to the border area near Roma, Texas, last week, he was setting out to do a story about how President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall might be affecting residents of the area.

What he saw there was one of the prime reasons Trump’s wall is necessary in the first place.

In a report that aired Wednesday, Begnaud recounted a frightening occurrence along the Rio Grande River where he caught a smuggling operation taking place in broad daylight, only a football field away from a border station manned by Border Patrol guards.

“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,” Begnaud wrote in a July 11 Twitter post. “The scout threatened us.”

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Check out the report here:

Just the visuals are illuminating: Illegal aliens crossing the Rio Grande within eyesight of a Border Patrol station and nothing hampering them; the “scout” approaching the American camera crew in a clearly threatening manner.

But Begnaud’s words carry even more weight.

Does the United States need a border wall?

“This highlights an ongoing issue that Border Patrol has been talking about. The Rio Grande River, people just swim. They walk across … But what was surprising for us to see was this happened in broad daylight. About 100 yards from that international bridge, where there are dozens of customs and border protection officers…

“This is an example of why the Trump administration has been pushing for a border wall. It’s one reason why they want to put the wall through here.”

Its’ worth pointing out, as Begnaud does in his report, that the incident took place during a shift change at the Border Patrol station, so clearly the smugglers know what points are most vulnerable.

But it’s also worth pointing out that the Rio Grande and the U.S.-Mexico border is a good deal bigger than the area around Roma, Texas. If brazen border crossings are taking place this close to manned entry points, what’s stopping greater activity in more remote regions, in the dark of night?

That’s not something that juggling shift changes will fix.

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No one knows who came across the United States border when Begnaud happened to catch it on camera. Economic immigrants hoping for a better life? MS-13 members bent on mayhem? Terrorists?

Social media responses to Begnaud’s report showed the story hit a nerve:

Liberals can try to downplay stories like this all they like, and romanticize illegal aliens as striving human beings just trying to improve their lot.

But this report addresses the realities: No one has a clue who’s coming across the border illegally, it’s just clear they’re being brought by criminals.

That might not have been the story Begnaud set out to tell from Roma, Texas, but it’s the one the whole country needs to see.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.