Narration: With all the media heat over the border, are we seeing a complete and true picture of the situation?
Brandon Darby: if I say something like, you know, remember that migrants are humans too. All of a sudden everyone in the right calls me a commie, you know, and if I say something like, well, we need to build a barrier and we need to go after Mexican cartels and better secure our border, well everyone on the left calls me a Nazi, you know, and it’s like there’s no ability to have a conversation.
Narration: The border crisis has been going on for decades, what’s the real reason behind it?
Simone: Okay. So, um, talking about, you know, um, Tom Cradle, I asked him another question now with the Democrats take the majority of the house, the chances of getting anything fixed in the congress. I mean fixed a catch release law. He said the chances are zero.
Brondon: He’s probably right.
Simone: I interviewed Tom Tancredo and I ask him what percentage of Republican congressmen are up opposing or not wholeheartedly supporting building the fence on the border and he said 75%. That was shocking to me.
Brandon: probably about right.
Simone: Why do you think that many Republicans are not supporting these wholeheartedly?
Brandon: well when you say we’re supporting this whole heartedly, you mean what does this cause we can’t even agree on what this is, right? Like some of us, you know, like to my discouragement, they want to stop.
Simone: Catch and release law.
Brandon: All right, well catch and Release. Okay. Um, I, I again, I, I think that most people in the Republican party don’t agree with it. I think that a lot of their funders, like especially in Texas, are construction builders who have business models that are based on the exploitation of foreign labor.
Host: He is the director of the Breitbart Border and Cartel Chronicle projects, and yet what he told me about the border is not something I expected from this media outlet. Brandon Darby, a former FBI agent and a true expert on Mexican cartels who has spent a decade cruising along all nine sectors of the US-Mexican border, expressed among other things, frustration with our immigration system. The inconvenient truth he has to tell may be precisely what we need to hear. I am Simone Gao, and you are watching Zooming In.
Title: The Inconvenient Truth about the Border – An Interview with Brandon Darby （Part One）
Small Title: Is the border safe?
Brandon: when I say on the border, I’m speaking holistically, I’m talking about the entire border region, right? It’s composed of the U.S. Side and the Mexican side. You know. What I see right now, is I see a lot of Democrats, saying that the border is safe. And then when you say, “What about what’s going on in Mexico?” They said, well, I was talking about the U.S. Side. And I said, “But you didn’t say that. You said the border is safe. You said the border is safe. Is the border safe?”” Like, well, the US side is safe. It’s like, well, again, that’s not true either. Some places are safe, some places are not safe. Right? But you see people talking about this issue and oversimplifying it and taking out pieces. You say, well, the, the crime right in El Paso is very low. It’s like, but El Paso doesn’t represent the majority of the US Mexico border. It doesn’t represent the majority of the Texas border, you know? So people are talking about, and they’re oversimplifying it to, make their political points. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are doing that. Some people are taking things that happen and the most violent regions and they’re saying that that applies to the entire border, It doesn’t. And some people are taking things that, like the circumstances from the most peaceful regions and saying that applies to the entire border. It doesn’t either. So, so I’m glad that people are talking and focusing on the border. I’m glad people are talking about it. I think that that’s, increasing the amount of attention it receives. But I, I do think that the majority of information people are being exposed to is inaccurate.
Title: El Paso, Texas is one of the heaviest drug smuggling corridors in the country, but it is considered a safe city. Why is that?
Brandon: I think that the nature of that particular criminal group, the Juarez cartel tends to be very professional. They know that if their violence spills over, that if their counterparts commit violence in El Paso, it’s going to cause, more media attention and it’s gonna cause an increased law enforcement presence on the border and it’s gonna make their job of getting drugs into the U.S. Much more difficult. So what they do is they make sure that their people don’t commit crimes on the US side. Their people commit crimes on the U.S. Side, just not right there on the border. You know,? They’re doing it in other cities and interior cities. They’re doing it in Mexico, but they’re very careful to limit what they do in El Paso. So to say like, “Well, they don’t commit crimes in the U.S.” It’s like, well, that’s not true. They don’t commit crimes in El Paso, Right? But the rest of the U.S. is a fair game for them. And we’re seeing that in, I think a lot of our communities, like what we see in Chicago has a lot to do with what’s going on in Juarez. What’s going on between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas are different factions of those cartels and different factions of the senior lower cartel. It’s playing out in our streets and US cities, you know? But it’s just that most of the cartels along the border have enough sense not to commit crimes on the actual border, you know?
Title: If you care about migrants, how could you be in favor of a wall?
Brandon: I honestly believe that securing our border between ports of entry, when we consider the economic disparity right? And the, the disparity and wealth between the two nations, the disparity in systems of justice, the disparity and overall corruption rates. I really do believe that building those barriers will, ultimately cause migrants to go through, legitimate ports of entry, which I think is a lot safer for them. I think it’s a lot safer for us.
Brandon: But primarily for them. It’s really safer. It’s the humanitarian thing to do. You know, a lot of times when I’m discussing this with people, they’ll say, well, they don’t really discourage people. They don’t affect traffic patterns. They don’t discourage where people go. And I said, well, the last 30 years of your news coverage and your advocacy, all of the migrant groups in the United States…the New York Times right? Even said that in the 90s and in the 2000’s when the U.S. built walls…those same fences in the cities that it, it caused migrants to go into remote areas and that they were dying because they were being funneled into remote areas.
Brandon: Well, if the fences were funneling people in a different direction, then that means they actually do impede traffic, right? They do affect the traffic patterns. So if we could not only have those fences in those areas, but also have them in remote areas and have mechanisms there, like better roads and you know, a number of other things, items… Approaches that need to be taken, right? In order for it to be effective. But it very clearly affects patterns. Right? And it can very clearly cause most people to go to a port of entry and then we can deal with it.
Brandon: Now whether we talk about, you know, the stay in Mexico policy or whatever policy the US government’s engaging in at the time, that’s a whole another discussion. But anyone with any knowledge of the situation couldn’t possibly argue that, it’s okay to have migrants and thousands of women and children going through cartel territory in remote areas where they oftentimes die of dehydration. That’s not reasonable. You know? Like, we need to be a responsible nation. We need to build those barriers and we need to, if we’re going to have people coming, we need to do it through, through legitimate ports of entry where we can see them, we can check them, they have access to health services, you know? instead of little kids dying of dehydration because…And it taking six hours to get them to a checkpoint, you know? To where they can be checked up, checked out. We need to have, we need to have people go into areas where we have all of those things ready. Like again, not only for us and for our safety, But I think for theirs as well.
Title: Trump was trying to use department of defence money to build the wall through the declaration of emergency of the state. Will that happen?
Brandon: I think a lot of, you know, a lot of the Department of Defense dollars that Trump tried to apply and build barriers in some areas, I think that encompassed a lot of the places where they’re really needed to be a barrier. Not all of them, but a lot of them. And I think now with the lawsuits that are going on, that might not actually happen. And, And I think that’s going to, again, it’s gonna pave the way for private efforts to do stuff like that because it isn’t just, you know, it isn’t just people there who are affected. It’s people across the country who are affected. And it isn’t just people across our country who are effected as people in Mexico who are affected and it’s the migrants themselves who are affected. You know, you have somebody in a really bad spot in life. I think most of them are economic migrants and I don’t think that our asylum laws are written for them. You know? Whether they should be or not as up to who, whomever to decide It’s not mine. But I think they’re economic migrants. I think that’s still very serious. You know, I think they’re in a bad spot. And, you know, it depends on whose numbers you look at, right? Like if you go with Doctors Without Borders, they’re gonna say 31.9, I think percent of migrant females, that means a little girls and women, are sexually assaulted on their journey here and past our border. They’re a regular migration attempt from Central America into the U.S. If you go with other aid groups, like if you go with Amnesty International, they’re going to say 60%. I think. If you go with other aid groups, they’re gonna say up to 80%. Either way, a vast majority or a vast number of migrant females are sexually assaulted on their journey here. And that’s because there’s a system of a black market system of organized, transnational organized criminal groups who these people are going through. That’s the system that we’re supporting by allowing this to continue. You know?And I think that the more people realize that, that the arguments for border security aren’t just about sovereignty. They’re not just about, you know, drugs. They’re not just…there’s also a humanitarian component to this. Something has to happen, right? We can argue about what that…what that should be, but something has to happen. We cannot, as a society, as a developed nation, as an advanced nation, allow this to continue. And I think that the more various governmental agencies and politicians argue about it and postpone it and put it off, I think you’re gonna see more and more of civilians, citizens finding ways to address that problem. And I think there are responsible ways to address it and they’re irresponsible ways. I think going out there with, you know, AR15′ and camouflage, I don’t think that’s very responsible in most situations. Like some militia guys. I understand why they do, but I don’t think that’s a responsible way. I think it invites a lot of problems and invites a lot of risks to a lot of people, including themselves. But I do think that like what we see Coflage doing, I think that’s a pretty responsible way to do it. And much like healthcare in the U.S. You know, if you really think about it, I would say that the Republicans, refusing to address some significant problems in our healthcare system, right? It paved the way and it made it…it created a climate where Democrats could come in…where Obama could come in and do some sweeping, you know, radical overhaul.
Title： Who is responsible for the crisis on the border?
Brandon: And I think that that’s what we’re seeing on the border. It’s something very similar. Democrats and some Republicans have said, “Oh, the border’s safe. There’s no problem.” Or “Just let it be like it is.” And once people are being educated about those problems, they’re like, “Wait a minute.” And now what you’re starting to see is a sweeping overhaul that the left doesn’t like. But really a lot of it is their own fault because they left it, they let it fester for so long. You know, they stayed ignorant, they turned a blind eye, you know? And you’re starting to see that. So hopefully more and more mainstream groups and moderate groups will get involved and do something about this issue and educate people about the issue. Hopefully politicians like Beto O’Rourke who says the border is safe…that’s obviously not true and hopefully people will stop doing that because not only does it, does it disrespect the angel families, people here who have lost loved ones because of this issue, but it really disrespects communities in northern Mexico.
Brandon: And it also disrespects the 31.9 to 80% of females, migrant females who had been sexually assaulted on that journey. It also, we could go down the line of who that disrespects, right? So hopefully that kind of spin stops happening. Um, and hopefully, uh, you know, more and more mainstream people will discuss this, know what’s going on and get involved and get their politicians to do something, to address it with policy. But if they continue to ignore it, you’re going to see more and more militia. You’re going to see more and more private efforts to build a wall. You’re going to see more and more private efforts to do something about it. Because at this point, we’re at a, we’re at a breaking point. Too many families have been affected because of this issue. Too many families have watched their loved ones die of fentanyl overdoses, shooting Mexican black tar heroin in their veins. you know? to just ignore it. Too many cops have had their partners, have their faces blown off, you know, fighting this drug war on our streets, working undercover and working in vice. Too many people who have been affected and so people want something done. And I think ultimately when you remove all of the disinformation and all of the efforts to spin it and create Potemkin villages or to portray it as like, there’s hundreds of Isis fighters coming across the border, which isn’t true either you know…
So what’s not true about that?
Brandon: There’s no factual reason to believe that like, uh, like that there’s hundreds of Isis fighters coming across the border, our border? I know some groups say this and that’s the, that’s the thing is that, you know, it makes everyone mad at me but, be mad at me. I don’t really care at this point in my life. I, I, I have a nice little home out in the country. I’m raising a child, I have a horse and some cows like I don’t really care, you know, like if people get mad at me so it’d be mad at me. But the truth of the matter is, is that in general, the left is full of it on this issue. And there’s some people on the right who are quite full of it too. And um, and both of them don’t realize it, but they actually, they actually harm, you know, the issue. They actually harm all of the people affected when they pull that, you know, you might get some short term gain and yeah, you might raise some funds and get people riled up If you claim that a hundred isis fighters are at our border, but two weeks later when those hundred isis fighters don’t show up, you know. But you hear what I’m saying? Like you, you hurt you hurt the cause, you know? There’s enough…the reality of what’s occurring in our greater border region, which means the U.S. and Mexico side, the realities are bad enough that we don’t have to make stuff up, you know, and we don’t have to make stuff up and, and some people do. And that’s unfortunate.
Title: A lot of talking, but not a lot of doing.
Brandon: I just, I hope that it continues to be a situation where, where people do get involved and I hope that that has an impact on policy because as of yet I haven’t really seen it have a big impact on policy. I’ve seen a lot of politicians bloviate and say big things. But have I really seen a lot of change? No. You know, do I see a wall? No. Do I see a lot of barrier built? No. Do I see more responsible economic stimulus for Mexico? No. Do I see Mexico doing something more about cartels? No. Do I see the U.S. Pressuring Mexico too? No. Do I see the US State Department you know, hitting hard on cartels and taking a different tone? No. I don’t see any of these big things. Do I see more prosecutors along the border regions? No. Do I see more immigration judges so people can have expedited processes? No. People are like “Well they’re talking about it” and I’m like, “They’ve been talking about it for a bunch of years” you know, when are we doing it? I don’t see the…I don’t see the difference right now. All I see is the same old, same old and that, that’s just a brutal reality. Like I do see, you know, a private group built a half mile on the border. That’s a big deal, symbolically I think,. Some Democrats are coming around and acknowledging what’s going on. That’s a big deal. I think More Republicans are starting to acknowledge what’s going on. That’s a big deal, I think. But has it really impacted policy yet? No, not at all. You know, not at all.
Simone: I interviewed Tom Tancredo and I asked him what percentage of Republican congressmen are opposing or not wholeheartedly supporting the building of the border fence and he said 75%. That was shocking to me,
Brandon: probably about right. I, you know, I really, I really do try to stay out of the politics of it all. I really do. “So you’re Breitbart editor” and I am, and if you look at our coverage, it’s pretty straight. You know, it’s about what’s happening there. We really do try to stay out of the politics, for a number of reasons, you know? But I think Tom’s probably right on that.
Brandon: I think the majority do not really support and I think the majority of them are ignorant. I think they don’t understand. And I think they’re afraid of social pressure that comes from the left who has control over most of the, you know, cultural institutions. Most of the cultural influencers, are left of center.
Brandon: And I think that probably most of them are pretty caring. And if they actually knew the facts, I think they would probably not, not promote what they promote. But they don’t, you know, they don’t know the facts. And that’s one of the problems we have right now is that if I say something like, you know, “Remember that migrants are humans too.” All of a sudden everyone in the right calls me a commie, you know, and if I say something like, “Well, we need to build a barrier and we need to go after Mexican cartels and better secure our border,” Well everyone on the left calls me a Nazi, you know, and it’s like there’s no ability to have a conversation.
Brandon: You either stick to your side’s talking points or, or you’re something bad, Right? And it’s really detrimental to this discussion and to this issue. It really hurts both sides actually. And so I’d imagine Tom is right when it comes to that, you know? But yeah, it’s a mess. And most people give it lip service and don’t really care because they don’t know and they don’t know because the information isn’t accessible to them and it’s not accessible to them because people are engaging in conversation stoppers and ad Hominem.
Brandon: And, like I said, you’re never gonna read a left of center perspective if you think that everyone on the left is trying to destroy our country and you’re never going to read a right of center perspective if you think that it’s really…they’re just Nazis. Who are racist. You’re never gonna read their perspectives and therefore you’re not going to understand an issue.
Brandon: So if someone read what we write every day, the majority of my team members are in Mexico. They don’t even speak English. We publish their words in English because we employ translators, you know, and copy editors who are bilingual, which is, is complicated to say the least. But if you don’t read Breitbart’s border and cartel coverage, then you’re not going to understand most of what’s going on. And, and if you think that we’re racist because someone told you we’re racist, well you’re never going to read it, you know? So you’re not going to know. You understand? And that’s kind of where we are right now. So I think, I think what Tom said is probably true and I think that there’s reasons why that’s true that I think most people would support physical barriers under these circumstances if they had more information.
Simone: um, you just talk about with all the obstacles and lawsuit and stuff, how possible, how likely do you think the federal government is actually going to build the border fences in the near future?
Brandon: I think it’s unlikely. I think it’s unlikely. I think they’re probably going to build as much fencing in the next year as they built in the last two,
Simone: which is?
Brandon: not very much. Okay. Not very much.
Simone: So this, I mean if anything happens it will be privately funded project.
Brandon: No, I don’t, I don’t think if anything happens, it just depends on what happens with lawsuits and what happens with the court system. And, you know, someone will file some thing in Oregon or Hawaii where there are liberal judges and then someone else will file something in Alabama with a judge. You know what I mean? And that’s what they do to each other. They, they as like a, that’s really actually kind of unfortunate. But, um, I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. All I know is so far we haven’t seen any really, like whatever we see in a couple of miles of virgin wall built, the rest have been replacements. You know, we haven’t really seen like a lot of, a lot of new anything. We haven’t seen a lot of change. We, we saw them keeping people in Mexico, in the major cities that were trying to cross when the cameras were there. But then five miles away we see families just crossover and turn themselves in and they get to stay, you know? And um, so you don’t really, you know, everyone’s engaging in, you know, as like,
Title: Does the president get accurate information about the border?
Brandon: sometimes Trump will say things about that’s happening on the border and it’s just not true. And I don’t think he knows it. You know, I think that people below him are telling him something that isn’t accurate. You know,.
Simone: for example, what is not true?
Brandon: for example, when a news outlet published video and photos of migrants sitting on the border wall in San Diego during the migrant crisis they have during the initial caravan member, he tweets out a picture of a segment of wall about 20 feet long, covered in barbed wire. That’s fake news.
Brandon:This is what the wall really looks like in San Diego when he’s never been there. Somebody gave that to him. Somebody said, is not true. Look, this is what our wall looks like. Well, the truth was is there was only 25 yards with barbed wire. That was the truth cause I was there.
Brandon: You know, so somebody in under him, you have to understand how this works. There’s border patrol agents. They’re doing their job. The person who’s managing them is probably doing their job above that person. That person got a job because the person above it gave it to him and that person got a job because the person above them gave it to them and that person got a job because the president appointed him, you understand? Or her. So the entire line, by the time information reaches the president of the United States, it’s gone through so many people who are covering their own ass, you know, and who are political appointees are trying to be or are appointed by a political appointee.
Brandon: It’s gone through so many people that he’s not getting accurate information. He is getting the information that covers the person below him and they’re getting the information from their ally who they put into job below them. You see. So when, when the president did that, it was misleading, but he didn’t know it. He was being lied to. And that’s what I think. And the only thing that makes sense. Um, so I think that happens a lot, you know, and I think there are some mechanisms in place that can, can balance that out. Like I, I think the National Border Patrol Council, which is the Union for the agents, they have a pretty direct line to the president, you know, um, and so they can kind of go around all the political appointees and, you know, but I don’t think that they’re talking every day. No. Um, just from what I would gather. Uh, so that’s, you know, that’s where things are.
Brandon: Here’s what I think when it comes to most of the people in our government at the higher levels, right? You have, you have all these really good men and women on the street doing the work, you know, and usually the people who rise to the very top, the very, very top of leadership are not representative of the people on the ground doing the work. You know what I mean? Like, um, take an FBI special agent in the FBI, somebody who wants to stop kidnappers, what do they do? They get a job where they stopped kidnapping and the catch people who kidnap people and they rescue children. And then at some point someone in that group goes, you know what? I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to be in a nice office in DC and make more money and I want to be the boss. Okay?
Brandon: We’re the people who strive to be the boss are not the same as the people who just want to help people. You know, you understand. Occasionally you’ll see someone in upper management is okay, but most of the time I don’t think so. You know, I think generally people who are attracted to have that much power, um, people who are attracted, whether we’re talking about Hollywood or whether we’re talking about politics, I think you’re talking about people with some real issues with narcissism and you know, getting behind one of them and being excited about one of them is not something I do. Maybe when I was in my twenties and I didn’t know better, but I’m not in my twenties anymore. Simone and I know better. You know, I’ve seen it too many times so I don’t get real excited about, um, any political appointees, I’ll put it that way.