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How Breitbart Helped Cause a Port Shutdown

Updated: Jan 23

Even before Joe Biden won the presidency, anti-immigrant right-wing media group Breitbart was on the Border Patrol beat. They have extremely close ties with the Border Patrol's national union, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). The NBPC has a podcast where their members spend most of the show lamenting how Donald Trump didn't win the election, how much they love insurrection leaders like MTG and how they believe that every asylum seeker who enters the U.S. in between the port of entry should be treated as a criminal and thrown in jail...that podcast is produced by Breitbart.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone who follows immigration. Before Trump was kicked out of the White House, he renegotiated the NBPC's contract. At the time, union stewards (who are also agents) were allowed 18,000 hours to collectively work on union issues part-time while also patrolling the border. Under Trump's new contract, those hours were increased to 153,920 hours. Additionally, this created new full-time positions for 74 union stewards tripling their numbers while at the same time the agency has seen their staff numbers decrease. No longer did stewards have to work the line and patrol the border to get the great government pay and benefits, now they could work full-time on union issues and never have to put on their green uniforms.

So, if the numbers of agents have decreased while the numbers of union stewards has drastically increased, what could they be doing with all that time?

When the union is not busy creating podcasts about how they are the only experts on border issues or participating in political campaign commercials or supporting right-wing candidates for office, they are working hand and glove with right-wing media outlets. Sometimes they are helping by leading media around to areas where it appears that the union staged crossings as this article from 2021 showed. They were even able to get CNN involved. Local right-wing anti-immigrant enthusiasts who admitted to working with the union just happened to offer their boat and a ride to CNN and then took them to the exact spot where there just happened to be an orchestrated crossing where other union members where positioned on the U.S. side laughing and joking with the smuggler.

While I was in McAllen a few weeks ago, several individuals witnessed and recorded Border Patrol marching a group out from the brush as union members helped the right-wing media (outlet unknown) get set up on the street. It's important to note that illegal crossings are very low in this area at the moment. Most of the traffic has moved west, and it is difficult for the media to find where these apprehensions are occurring in the vastness of the Rio Grande Valley without the union's collaboration. Once the cameras were in place, Border Patrol agents paraded the migrants before the cameras, placed them on the ground, searched them in front of the cameras and allowed the photographers to get right up in the faces of the migrants. It was disgraceful and humiliating as the union guys laughed.

Note the smile on the agent not wearing the uniform. This is the media's liaison to the Border Patrol agents in the field and how they are getting so much footage with so few crossings in this area.

Lately, I am hearing chatter about how El Paso Sector Border Patrol may be encouraging many of the protests at the ports. I would not be surprised if it was Border Patrol, CBP or the National Guard creating the rumors about the ports suddenly deciding to process asylum seekers in Texas. As a former agent, I know that these agencies have agents in the Mexican camps spying on them. They have access to their WhatsApp groups and are monitoring everything that is done and said inside these camps in Mexico. They also have informants. To start a rumor that will then overwhelm the ports is easy. But it is difficult to prove this since CBP and Border Patrol in Texas are coordinating much of this activity through the union which is not required to answer Freedom Of Information Acts or questions by unfriendly press. This is why the union was given such a large increase in hours by Trump before he left.

So yesterday when I received this text from a mainstream news outlet in Dallas, I was not

surprised. The link on this text goes to an article from Breitbart about how the Biden Administration suddenly and quietly decided to start allowing Venezuelans to apply for asylum at the ports in El Paso. Of course the sole source is said to be a "CBP source" and is "not allowed to speak to the media." As you can see, the Administration did not confirm this. Breitbart did not care and of course went ahead and published.

Here are screenshots of Breitbart's article:

This is not to say that the Biden Administration is not considering allowing Venezuelans to apply at the ports, but so far, there has been no announcement by the Administration. Breitbart's article was published on April 7, 2023. Within two days, the rumors created by this article had spread through the camps in Juarez and caused hundreds to show up at the port to apply for said asylum as expected. This in turn caused the CBP in El Paso to close the port and barricade it. Link to video.

And of course that also caused many migrants to show up in between the ports and cross illegally which then gave right-wing media what they wanted - another chaos incident at the border scene. Link to CBS4Local. As the CBS article quotes Special Operation Supervisor Valerie Morales, "This started really about two days ago where we saw groups of migrants surrendering themselves to Border Patrol." That "about two days ago," would be the 8th or 9th which is about a day or two after Breitbart's story.

This story of how the union and the right-wing media are helping to stoke the anti-immigrant fervor of their base by creating rumors that then cause people to come to the ports and gates to be processed by CBP and Border Patrol would not be complete without mentioning that the author of the original Breitbart article that appears to have started or at least contributed to this nation security issue is a former Border Patrol agent by the name of Randy Clark. His bio on Breitbart says it all:

As I have explained in the past, this is just another example of why a designated security agency like the CBP and Border Patrol are legally not allowed to have a bargaining unit; because the information they are privy to can be used against current administrations to create chaos. This law is 5 USC 7112(b)(6) and the Biden Administration is being foolish by not bothering to enforce it against this rogue union.


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