CBS’s Bojorquez to Volunteer Police Officer in South Texas Helping to Stop Illegal Immigration: ‘You’re Taking a Big Risk’

On Wednesday night’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, CBS News correspondent Manuel Borjorquez reported along the U.S. and Mexico border in Texas where one county’s police force includes help from officers in neighboring counties as volunteers to assist in stopping smugglers of illegal immigrants. When it came to interviewing one of the volunteers in Brooks County, Texas, Borjorquez raised a number of concerns of why anyone would do so without compensation.

Borjorquez spoke with Reserve Deputy Gustavo Cabos, who told him that he and his fellow police officers are “all brothers” and that “[w]e're all out there to help each other out.” As Cabos was saying that, Borjorquez interjected to tell him: “But you're not getting paid for this. You don't even have health insurance in case you get hurt. You're taking a big risk.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

In response, Cabos told him that he recognized the risks, “but at the same time, the bigger risk is what happens to Brooks when all the funds are depleted when there is no more manpower? That’s the big risk.”

Borjorquez reported that Brooks County is taking in volunteers because “Brooks County can only afford one Deputy per shift to cover 900 square miles,” so officers from nearby, such as Cabos, “who is an officer 80 miles away, volunteers his free time to help fill the gaps.”

Overall, Borjorquez stated that: 

16 other police officers from outside Brooks County have also volunteered and been deputized here. They try to intercept smugglers before they drop off their human cargo. The bodies of more than 400 immigrants who succumb to the heat have been recovered in the Texas brush. 

At the beginning of the segment, anchor Scott Pelley reported that a new poll from CBS News found that 50 percent of Americans believe that the recent surge of illegal immigrant children coming into the United States should be sent back to their home countries without an immigration hearing to determine whether they could be granted permission to remain in the U.S. 

Meanwhile, 43 percent of Americans said that the illegal immigrant “children should be allowed to stay while awaiting a hearing on their immigration status.”


The complete transcript from the August 6 report on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley is transcribed below. 

CBS

CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley

August 6, 2014

6:37 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Child Immigrants]

SCOTT PELLEY: Tonight, in a CBS News poll, Americans are telling us what should be done with the surge of illegal immigrant children from Central America crossing the southern border. 43% told us that the children should be allowed to stay while awaiting a hearing on their immigration status. 50% said that the immigrants should be sent home without a hearing. 

[ON-SCREEN GRAPHIC: Patrolling the Border]

In Texas, volunteers are helping to patrol the border. Manuel Bojorquez went there, never imagining what he would see. 

MANUEL BORJORQUEZ: We spent a few hours with Reserve Deputy Gustavo Cabos as he tried to stop smugglers sneaking immigrant into Brooks County. He was suspicious of this SUV. 

RESERVE DEPUTY GUSTAVO CABOS: We're slowing down. We're slowing down. We've got a possible bailout. 

BORJORQUEZ: The chase that followed is routine here. 

CABOS: We've got a bailout. We've got a bailout. Got a bailout. Is there any EMS? We have someone run over. 

BORJORQUEZ: And so are the risks taken by smugglers and immigrants. Out here, illegal immigration goes beyond politicians. It's a matter of life and death. 

[UNIDENTIFIED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT WOMAN CRYING AND BLOODIED] 

Brooks County can only afford one Deputy per shift to cover 900 square miles, so Cabos, who is an officer 80 miles away, volunteers his free time to help fill the gaps. 

CABOS: We're all brothers. We're all out there to help each other out. So that’s – 

BORJORQUEZ: But you're not getting paid for this. You don't even have health insurance in case you get hurt. You're taking a big risk. 

CABOS: I am taking a big risk, but at the same time, the bigger risk is what happens to Brooks when all the funds are depleted when there is no more manpower? That’s the big risk. 

BORJORQUEZ: 16 other police officers from outside Brooks County have also volunteered and been deputized here. They try to intercept smugglers before they drop off their human cargo. The bodies of more than 400 immigrants who succumb to the heat have been recovered in the Texas brush. 

CHIEF DEPUTY BENN MARTINEZ: This is a prime example right here. 

BORJORQUEZ: This is what you're trying to avoid? 

MARTINEZ: This is what we're trying to avoid. 

BORJORQUEZ: Chief Deputy Benny Martinez carries the bodies in a pickup. This was the 45th body he recovered this year. 

CABOS: She's breathing. That's a good thing.

BORJORQUEZ: The woman deputy Cabos helped survived. He'll be back on patrol tonight. 

CABOS: They come over here and this is the closest they'll get to American Dream before they just pass out, take their last breath. That doesn't sound like an American Dream.

BORJORQUEZ: The woman who appeared to be pushed from the SUV is still in the hospital. Her only form of identification was a Mexican passport. Scott, The other people in the SUV., including the smuggler, all got away. 

PELLEY: Manuel Bojorquez on the border for us this evening. Manuel, thank you.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is a news analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division