EDINBURG, Texas (Border Report) — A Republican congressman from Texas whose district includes Kerrville, Austin and northern San Antonio, hosted a round table discussion on immigration in South Texas Monday afternoon featuring staff from Brietbart.
Roy’s office told Border Report this afternoon that “access has been restricted to Breitbart. They will have exclusivity for coverage. No other reporters will be allowed,” a staffer answering phones for Roy in Washington, D.C., said. However, a Border Report reporter was allowed in after the panel had begun.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, hosted the “State of the Border” round table discussion Monday from 3-4:45 p.m. at the National Border Patrol Council’s offices in Edinburg, Texas. Speakers included Jaeson Jones, a retired DPS captain; Hector Garza, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council; another Border Patrol union officer; and two Brietbart staff members.
During the discussion, Roy repeatedly emphasized the need to build a border wall. And he said allowing asylum-seekers into the country, and putting them in detention facilities, only encourages the flow of immigrants who are illegally entering the United States. “We’re encouraging the harm in the false name of compassion,” Roy said.
Roy said that every week collectively the drug cartels make $50 million in the trafficking of humans and drugs in the Rio Grande Valley region. By building a wall, he said that would stop their direct access to U.S. soil. He also added that he wished more drug and crime statistics from the border region would be presented to the public by the FBI.
“The public needs to know,” Roy said.
No other reporters were present during the round table in which Brandon Darby, director of Breitbart’s Border and Cartel Chronicles project, did most of the questioning. Previously, Darby served as an organizer in both Louisiana and Texas and as a campaign strategist for President Donald Trump. Breitbart’s cartel expert Ildefonso Ortiz also was on the panel and addressed issues involving drugs and crime and human trafficking.
Breitbart News is an extremely right-leaning publication that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon helped to build. Bannon no longer works with the organization.
Originally, U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona and Michael Cloud, R-Texas had been scheduled to participate in the panel along with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Maria Michel-Manzo.
Roy told Border Report that due to late tours Monday with Customs and Border Protection officials visiting detention facilities and on the Rio Grande, the other congressmen were unable to make the round table because they needed to leave to catch flights.
A media release sent out from Roy’s office last week billed the event as “an in-depth presentation of what is happening at our southern border from those who are living it every single day.”
During the talk, Roy said he believed that the U.S. needed to treat people “humanely.”
“We should be appealing to the vast majority of American people, who believe in fairness, who believe people who are following the rules should be rewarded, that people who are waiting in line to come here the proper way should be rewarded, that we should have an orderly process so people aren’t harmed,” Roy said.
Roy serves on the Budget, Oversight and Veterans Affairs committees and is the ranking member of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. He served as chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and was staff director for Sen. John Cornyn’s, R-Texas, leadership office. He also served as first assistant attorney general under Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton and was a senior advisor to former Gov. Rick Perry.