After years based in Los Angeles and along the southern border chronicling the ever-worsening border crisis that the liberal media have shown an aversion to covering, the Fox News Channel’s Bill Melugin spent last week on Capitol Hill confronting the White House and congressional Democrats for their refusal to address the crisis.
Melugin first shared his report on America’s Newsroom after fill-in co-host Julie Banderas said “the border crisis is spiraling out of control” with “arrests...at historic levels” and co-host Bill Hemmer added that “the number of so-called gotaways” have swelled with “nearly a million” having “evaded detection since President Biden took office.”
Banderas and Hemmer noted that Melugin has been there for it all and, as a result, he’s drawn the ire of the Biden administration via Politico’s West Wing Playbook.
Explaining the reasoning for his trip, Melugin led into his report by saying he wanted to press “for some answers” after having “witness[ed] much of this chaos in person.” Not surprisingly, he was greeted with cold shoulders by many Democrats.
Congresswoman and Squad member Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) promptly ignored him while January 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) snapped at him that he didn’t have time because “I have to go give a speech.”
But worse yet, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wouldn’t meet with him, so Melugin gave the ultra-leftist a taste of his own side’s medicine by visiting him at his house (click “expand”):
MELUGIN [TO PRESSLEY]: 250,000 unaccompanied migrant children arrived at the border since President Biden took office. Some of them trafficked, some of them drowning in the river. Any issue with that?
PRESSLEY AIDE: She’s got to votes, man. You can shoot me a note right there.
MELUGIN [TO PRESSLEY]: Last question, ma’am. Is the border secure? Do you agree with the administration that the border is secure? We'll let you go. [TO THOMPSON] Chairman, one question: In your opinion, is the border secure?
THOMPSON: I have to go give a speech. Didn’t you hear me?
MELUGIN [TO THOMPSON]: I heard you.
MELUGIN [TO THOMPSON]: It’s a quick question. Is the border secure? [VOICE-OVER] Answers about the border few and far between from some Democrats on Capitol Hill, including the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas. [TO MAYORKAS] I'm Bill Melugin with Fox News. Do you have a few moments to talk about the border?
MAYORKAS: I’m sorry. I don’t.
MELUGIN: A week before this, we sent this email to DHS notifying them we would be in D.C. and we were requesting an interview with the secretary. We received no response. So we went to him. [TO MAYORKAS] A few moments of your time is all we’re asking for and we'll let you go. We reached out to your office and asked to talk to you last week. They — they blew us off.
MAYORKAS: I appreciate it.
MELUGIN [TO MAYORKAS]: Is 900,000 gotaways a secure border.
MAYORKAS: Have a good day, thank you.
MELUGIN [TO MAYORKAS]: No comment, sir?
Melugin explained that, while most Democrats ignored him, “[o]nly Democrats from the state of Texas, the front line of the border crisis, ended up talking to us and they expressed concern,” which included Congresswoman Veronica Escobar and Congressmen Colin Allred and Henry Cuellar.
He also secured responses from their party leadership by attending weekly press conferences for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Not surprisingly, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) granted him a sitdown interview (click “expand”):
MELUGIN: We also put questions to Democratic leadership. [TO PELOSI] Do you believe the border is secure?
PELOSI: I believe that we have to have a secure border and I think that we are trying to address — the President is — has a plan to address that.
MELUGIN: Democrats have had majority control here in D.C. for almost two years and still, there has been no significant progress on any immigration legislation in the Senate. I asked Chuck Schumer why that’s the case.
SCHUMER: Republicans don't want to do immigration reform. [SCREEN WIPE] Even on something as simple as DACA, which has the overwhelming support of the American people, Republicans are blocking it.
MELUGIN [TO MCCARTHY]: Under Republicans, would amnesty of any kind for any group of migrants who came across ever be on the table?
MCCARTHY: No amnesty. I know if Nancy Pelosi was no longer here, there would be a lot of Democrats feel free to do exactly what they know is best: to vote for a secure border and work with us to have a real immigration reform.
Back live, Melugin wrapped by telling viewers McCarthy had also told him that a Republican majority’s top “priority would be legislating” and “securing the border first” as opposed to immediately impeaching Mayorkas and “repeal the hiring of 87,000 I.R.S. agents and instead focus on serving resources down to our southern border.”
Melugin appeared on the Fox broadcast network a day earlier with Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream, who hailed him for both having been “reporting nonstop from the border since nearly the start of the Biden administration” and coming to D.C. to spend a week “chasing some folks around trying to get some answers.”
Teasing how his time went, Melugin said “a few of them won't even make eye contact with me when we are chasing them through the hallways” while “[o]thers were pretty gracious with their time and talked to us.”
Like he’s done with both Biden White House press secretaries, Melugin took aim at Pelosi’s insistence that Democrats and the President have a plan, wondering where it is because they’ve been in office for “almost two years...now...and the numbers just keep getting worse” with 1.7 million illegal crossings in fiscal year 2021 with 2.1 million in 2022 with one month still to go.
Along with an appearance on Fox News Radio's The Guy Benson Show in which he torched his critics for wanting him “to shut up, be a good boy, and ask [Biden] about his ice cream” and stop airing footage in “direct contradiction to what we hear on that White House podium, Melugin also addressed the Politico article with Bream (click “expand”):
BREAM: And, to be fair, the White House has had something to say about your coverage. There has been some pushback on how you're covering things. How does it feel to sort of get scooped into the story sometimes?
MELUGIN: I'm going to let the noise go above my head. They apparently don't like the drone. They say our coverage is alarmist. Well, what's happening down there is alarming. There have been more than 1,300 migrants who have died down there since the beginning of fiscal year 2021. There have been almost 4 million people who have crossed the border illegally. There have been 266,000 unaccompanied migrant children who have arrived at that border. Some of them we've seen drown in the river And just to put that in a visual for you, that's three Rose Bowls worth of unaccompanied children who have arrived at the border since President Biden took office. It's chaos down there. And it is alarmist. That's why we put the drone in the air, so you can see the amount of people coming across every single day. What's happening down there is out of control. People are dying every single day. And right now, Border Patrol agents feel like there's just not really any light on the horizon because there's no change in policy.