Border Patrol Misses a PR Opportunity

Agents rescue disabled Hondurans thrown overboard by smugglers

By David North on June 3, 2019

This should be front-page news in Honduras, and DHS press people should cite the story for all its worth – but that does not seem to be happening.

Heartless alien smugglers – who remain at large, presumably in Mexico – threw two severely disabled Honduran men into the Rio Grande, both of whom were saved from drowning by unnamed U.S. Border Patrol agents last Thursday.

One of the men was described as paraplegic, probably meaning he can use his arms, but not his legs, and the other was a double amputee, having lost both an arm and a leg. All of this happened at Eagle Pass, Texas, and was described in this low-key Border Patrol press release. I routinely see BP press releases in English and in Spanish, but I saw only an English one on this event, which probably means that it was not sent to Honduran media in Spanish.

What the Patrol should have done – and may have done – was to provide the amputee with a new prosthetic leg (assuming he lost whatever he had in this category in the river) and to give the paraplegic an up-to-date wheelchair that he could propel with his hands. Then it should get before and after photos of the amputee, and a photo of the paraplegic in his new wheelchair.

Then, assuming the men were at least mildly grateful to the BP for saving their lives, the men should have been interviewed, in Spanish, in front of TV cameras, telling of their experience, and their negative feelings about the smugglers who, after taking their money, left them to watery deaths. All of this should have been shared with Honduran media.

It should be stated sharply in such press releases that if you can't swim, don't try to come to the U.S. illegally.

The emphasis in the media releases should be on the cruelty of the smugglers, and the bravery of the agents, along with a passing reference to the fact that most illegals such as these men are held for a while in detention and then following a legal process are shipped back to their homelands. The current press release describes this process in this useless way:

The two individuals ... were ... processed in accordance with CBP Guidelines which include suitable placement.

While the BP agents must make law enforcement and saving lives their first priority, they should also be trained in the use of cell phones to take pictures of these events if that is possible. One or more photos, or videos, of these rescues would have been extremely valuable.