In his never-ending push for a border wall, President Trump regularly warns of dangerous criminals pouring into the country, and horrific things happening to migrants when they try to make the journey north. Like women getting kidnapped, thrown into cars, and smuggled across unwalled sections of the border.
He told one such harrowing tale on live TV in the Rose Garden on January 25. He was announcing a temporary end to the government shutdown, but the assembled reporters were also treated to a minute-long yarn about kidnapped migrants.
“Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces, around their mouths,” he told reporters. “They’re put in the back of cars or vans or trucks.”
“It’s never been like this before,” he added.
Scary stuff (if unsubstantiated). So in the spirit of fact-checking, VICE News’ Alzo Slade went to the bootheel of New Mexico, an area that's seen an increase in Central American migrants seeking asylum in recent months, to hear if its residents had seen anything resembling Trump’s claims.
Spoiler alert: They hadn’t.
But just to be thorough, Alzo pitched a tent along an unwalled section of the border separating the U.S. from Mexico to see if he could catch those “criminal cartels, narco-terrorists, transnational gangs like MS-13 and human traffickers” the president says are pouring over the unwalled border before “they make a left or a right into the United States of America.”
What Alzo saw won’t surprise you either.
This segment originally aired February 4, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.