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Millie Weaver: We're about to go deep inside the most dangerous jungle between Panama and Colombia. The Darién Gap with war correspondent Michael Yon in this two-part series will see how a broken U.S. immigration policy and an open border incentivize tens of thousands of migrants to risk their lives and the lives of their children in bargaining with drug cartels and human traffickers.
Unidentified Individual: Moms carrying babies. No clothes, no shoes. There were a bunch of people who actually didn't have shoes.
Unidentified Individual: I said, did anybody die? She said, Man, there are dead people everywhere. I saw all kinds of dead bodies.
Millie Weaver: Risking it all just to take a chance. Many die tragically. And the Biden administration advertising an open U.S. border policy has only made it worse.
Unidentified Individual: Last year, there was an all-time record of 1.7 million illegal border crossings, and just last month, 221,000 migrants crossed into the U.S., the highest monthly total ever recorded.
Millie Weaver: Part two.
Unidentified Individual: The number of migrants arrested as they attempted to cross the US-Mexico border skyrocketed last month to 210,000. That figure, which was made public in a court filing on Friday night, is the highest monthly total in two decades. And it's a 24% increase from March of last year when 169,000 migrants were picked up at the border. The start of a rise in immigration that left thousands of unaccompanied children stuck in crowded Border Patrol stations for days while they awaited placement in overwhelmed government-run shelters. U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to reverse many of the hardline immigration policies of former President Donald Trump but has struggled both operationally and politically with high numbers of attempted crossings.
Unidentified Individual: Republicans who hope to gain control of Congress in the November midterm elections say Biden's rollback of Trump-era policies has encouraged more illegal immigration. Biden officials have cautioned that migration could rise even more after U.S. health officials said they would end a pandemic era order by May 23rd. The order, known as Title 42, allows asylum seekers and other migrants to be rapidly expelled to Mexico to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to Friday's court filing, roughly half of the migrants encountered in March were expelled under the Title 42 order.
Millie Weaver: I've been down to Mexico, and I covered the migrant caravan down in Mexico, but that was like right across the border. We've got a tour guide helping us right now that we're going to give a tip to, and he's going to take us to the immigrant caravan. Many of these people here are from Honduras and have been given a 30-day pass from the Mexican government so they can make their way up to the border where we're at right now.
Millie Weaver: Obviously, this is in Mexico, but I'm sure cartels are cartels, and they operate in a very similar way in most instances when it comes to human trafficking. We got a tip that it's possible that this migrant caravan is actually at this house to see if we can see if any of the immigrant caravans are there. We just passed the Casa de Migrante. Some of the caravans are actually staying there. We've heard some people bring up the topic, the issue of human trafficking being associated with these big migrant caravans. When you have migrants coming through, the migrants are at risk of getting kidnapped or getting killed by these cartels if they can't pay their fee to get through their territory. So that's one of the things that's going on in Mexico heavily right now is there's a problem with kidnappings from the cartels and people being held hostage where they essentially hold them hostage. And then they have to call other family members, whether their family members are in the states or somewhere else, to get the money. And oftentimes, they'll just take the money to ill them. So it's not always a guarantee that they will let them go. But to me, it almost sounds like the cartel would have an incentive pressure for the border to be closed because maybe these groups were flooding through, and they weren't paying. Maybe these are people from entirely different regions like you're talking about that don't know the rules and don't know what's going on. And maybe it has to do with the fees.
Michael Yon: I was down there on the Colombian side last year, and you're not getting through there without getting scarfed up by the cartel, period. You might do it on the Mexican border, where I've spent a lot of time as well. But on this one, there's no way you're very channelized. In fact, you have to get on boats. For the last part, I've taken the boats from the cochlea to a place called Copper Ghana. So those are cartel-operated boats. I mean, unless you can swim like 50 miles, you know what I mean? You're in, or however far it was, it was an hour and a half or something. It was very far. And, you know, you will not get through there without paying the cartels, period.
Millie Weaver: Do you think that some of the traffickers or people that are kind of helping them get either visas or get to these other countries or get through certain regions, that those people are just not telling them about the dangers and what they're going to face because they want money or something?
Michael Yon: Well, that's something we've talked about quite a lot. Chuck Holton and I and Masako and others, how did they not get the word? Do you know what I mean? I mean, some of them clearly did get the word. A few of them go, yeah, I thought it was going to be hard, but I didn't really realize it was that hard. You know, I spent a year out with the Nepalese in Nepal in that war and that sort of thing. And one of the things I've seen about some of the cultures in Nepal is they will tend to downplay how hard something is. They'll be like, and You can do it, you can do it. Do you know what I mean? Some cultures are like that. They'll just be like that because they want you to make it so. They're not going to say, oh, how hard it was. They're going to be like, Oh, it's difficult, but you can make it because they want you to.
Millie Weaver: People are being told that their chances of getting into the U.S. right now are really high because the borders are open.
Michael Yon: Keep in mind, by the way, we've got some self-selection here because people that did hear about it and decided not to go, I'm obviously not seeing them out there. And so now, to answer your question, this is interesting because, like on the smuggling routes, it's not like one smuggler starts in India and takes you all the way through. It's like planes, trains, automobiles, and 50 different things. And here's the guy with the dugout canoe, and now it's the guy with the bus and then the taxi. And you know what I mean? It's like everybody under the sun, like these Chinese I found, one was from Wuhan, actually, and one was from Guangdong. And they had waypoints on GPS, which I was trying to get those waypoints off, but we couldn't get one. And but they knew which hotels, some of the Chinese are quite organized. Some of them have organizations, or they all have WhatsApp, not the Chinese. They'll use WeChat and stuff, and they'll use WhatsApp too. But I mean, like different cultures have their own WhatsApp channels that they'll talk about and how to get things. That's why when you're down in the southern border like Texas or Arizona, New Mexico and California and all that, different groups will go to different parts of the border. Right. Like you'll see Haitians going into California a lot. Right. And then sometimes they sometimes the Haitians will change, and they'll start popping out somewhere else, and then they'll change again, and they'll go somewhere else.
Michael Yon: The trail changes depending on what they're telling each other. So yeah. So it's not just one. And, you know, Chuck Colton brought this up a number of times. Chuck is a very experienced war correspondent and a close friend. And Chuck pointed out, I mean, what's a smuggler? Is that a taxi driver that takes you or a canoe driver that takes you across the river? Usually, the smugglers that you see down here, smugglers being kind of a loose term in that context. Most of them are only there for a very small part of the journey, often just 4 hours, right? Like on the Colombia side, they'll usually take them in, sometimes just for a few hours. And then that's why you'll hear migrants complain all the time. Now, the Colombians took $150, and he was going to stay with us until the Panama border. And then they went off to pee and ran away, you know, and you keep hearing that story over and over and over, or they stayed with us until almost dark, and then they just vanished. Then they start coming into the Panama side, and the Indians start to get them, and I mean, really get them. And it's the law of the jungle out there.
Millie Weaver: So the government there doesn't do anything to the Indians for murdering people?
Michael Yon: No, they do. Our special forces have trained the center front. They're the Border Patrol in Panama. And the Border Patrol is very professional. In fact, they're oddly professional, you know, and I mean, I'm interacting with them sometimes like a dozen times a day. They're some of the most professional that I've seen anywhere in the world. It's not the Banana Republic with them. And they're out there living in the jungle. They get into firefights out there. They arrest Indians when they catch them. They're out there doing ambushes. But that's a big jungle. And the Indians know the jungle better than the center front does, and the center front knows it pretty well. At one hotel I stay down in Darian, there are a couple of little diplomas. They've been down here for years, and it's got the stamp of Special Forces on them.
Michael Yon: They're very professional, and they're always polite, very firm. When I'm doing something they don't like, they'll be like, Don't do that. They'd be like, Oh, welcome to the jungle, you know? But, you know, they'll stop you from doing it firmly. And then they'll never demand money. If you try to bribe center front, you're going to jail. This is no joke. And interestingly, I was about to head up to Arizona with Tom Tiffany, congressmen, about two weeks ago or three weeks. And I got a message from his chief of staff that Secretary Mayorkas was coming down.
Secretary Mayorkas: In the last several weeks, I have been to Costa Rica, and I have been to Panama, and I have spoken regularly with my counterpart in Mexico about what is a regional challenge. The increase in migration that the United States is experiencing is not exclusive to the United States. There are more than 1.8 million Venezuelans in Colombia right now. The population of Costa Rica is approximately 2% Nicaraguan, based on the movement of people from their countries of origin by reason of so many different factors.
Michael Yon: So I canceled my flight to Arizona. I had already got a hotel, and I was like, you know what? If Mayorkas comes down, I bet he'll go to Dalian Province, and I bet I know where he'll go. So I went there, and I waited. And sure enough, four Blackhawks came in, which I videotaped using the phone that we're talking on, and they landed right where I thought they would land. And they went right to the camp where I thought they would go, which I droned while they were doing it. And he is down here increasing the flow. Speaking of flow, we, the United States, negotiated a program called Controlled Flow between Panama and Costa Rica.
Secretary Mayorkas: We have a multi-pronged approach to what is a very dynamic situation. We are addressing it across the Department of Homeland Security, across the federal government, with our state and local partners, and with our partners and allies south of our border.
Michael Yon: Controlled flow is to make the flow smooth for the migrants to get through Colombia. Colombia is not part of the agreement. It's Panama and Costa Rica but controls the flow up to Costa Rica. I've done the whole route up to the Costa Rican border and just get you through the series of camps quickly and up to Nicaragua. And then Nicaragua is not part of that. They didn't join either. Right now, something is very interesting is one of the major camps is doubling in size right now. And the control, the flow this year is much smoother than last year. This is important. We're in the middle of the rainy season now. If you had called just a little earlier, it was pouring down rain like crazy lightning. And it was it would have been exciting, but that slows down the flow every year.
Millie Weaver: Right.
Michael Yon: But in December and January, when the dry season comes, that's when it goes vertical here. And as you can see, famines are starting now in places like Africa and Asia and many countries. Right?
Millie Weaver: Right.
Michael Yon: Many different reasons. So my estimate, and this is one of the reasons I'm down here now reinvigorating my network in here and other places, is I think in December and January and February, with the dry season and the famines, which creates human osmotic pressure, the push and the pull and the increased controlled flow that Mayorkas was down here helping get the camps invigorated. In this hotel that I'm staying in, the U.N. stays here all the time and has meetings with the migration people. This hotel, this is where they help. It's not a coincidence I'm here, right? This is where they come. This is where they're getting the pumping stations filled up. Well, last year, there was an estimated 130,000 that went through. I don't know how many it's going to be this year, but I would not doubt if it's doubled. And that's just based on physical changes I see to the camps in the past.
Millie Weaver: It's a recipe for a historic migrant crisis.
Secretary Mayorkas: Right now, immigration judges are suffering a 1.6 or 1.7 million case workload and overwhelmed docket. Right now, they have exclusive jurisdiction. We are giving the asylum officers that jurisdiction that is going to take what is now, on average, a 6 to 8-year-plus process between the time of encounter and the time of ultimate asylum adjudication to under a year. We recognize that with the end of Title 42, there may very well be an increased surge in migration, and we have to equip them with the resources and capabilities to address that increase as well.
Millie Weaver: Especially when global food shortages are already happening, and famines are happening. A lot of that was exacerbated by the pandemic and by essentially shutting down the economy. And that's what many conservatives have been voicing the entire time throughout the shutdowns, was that this is going to cause famines, this is going to cause food shortages and people to literally starve to death in third world countries. So now we're seeing the ramifications. We see the consequences of that. We're seeing all these migrants coming from other countries to try to make their way up to the U.S. Meanwhile, in the U.S., we already have food shortages. We already have bare shelves. We're having issues here with agriculture.
Millie Weaver: So it's looking like already on its own, the U.S. is likely to see worsening food shortages. The Biden administration even confirms these baby food shortages are already a problem. So these migrants are all trying to come to the U.S. because they think that this is where the food is going to be. This is where the security is going to be. A job is going to be. Meanwhile, we're on the brink of like an economic collapse and massive food shortages ourselves. This is a bad situation, definitely, especially with Biden in the White House. And he has this open border policy.
Michael Yon: Since January of 2020, I've probably warned 2,000 times in interviews and articles and things I've published that food shortages and actual famine are probably coming since mid-2020. I've been telling people to stock up thick, right? Of course, there's that Overton window. If I were to tell people what I really thought by mid-2020, people that have read my work for years offline in our private chat or private locals groups, I was telling get at least two years of food. Right. I was saying that two years ago now. Right, because this is what I study. War is what I do. Right? Migration is part of the war.
Michael Yon: I've spent years in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, and the Philippines. I got kicked out of Hong Kong as the pandemic was starting. If you're going to study war at a high level, I don't mean just firefights. Anybody can do that if you've got guts in the camera. There's the kinetic part. There's also famine and pandemic and information war, and migration. These are all five different parts of the study. You have to study all of them. The highest level is an information war. That's your Ph.D. of war, right? This is what we're trying to fight right now by telling what we're actually seeing out here. You know, talking the way we're talking now gets you to shut off from everything. Right?
Millie Weaver: Right.
Michael Yon: And you know better than almost anybody, right?
Millie Weaver: Oh, yes. I've been demonetized on basically all the social media platforms, and I get my content regularly pulled.
Michael Yon: I don't have to tell you, and your readers and listeners don't need to be told. We know that's where the big fight is. But, you know, I was talking with Laura Logan recently, and we chat sometimes, and she's like, Michael, of course, that's what they're going to do. They're going to push the migrants. They've been saying it. The lefties have been saying it for years. 1.2 billion migrants are going to be moved from climate change and all this, but they're doing it for every other reason. You're exactly right.
Millie Weaver: Think about what happens if there are food shortages in America. Right. And I think that's what most of us are thinking about. But what happens if there are food shortages in America, but also in Mexico and these other countries south of our border, and we have a border that's not secure? Hey, it's sounding like that wall would have been a great investment.
Unidentified Individual (Video Clip): We are at the US-Mexico border in Arizona. This is the new border wall, and this is the road. Construction began and ended in 2020. And this is where that border wall ends. Construction paused when the Biden administration began. There are still 31 miles of gaps within the Tucson sector.
Secretary Mayorkas: We see the tragedy more of individuals placing their lives in the hands of smugglers who only seek to exploit them for profit. As the situation unfolds, last week, we saw a tragedy in the maritime environment, not on land, but at sea, with a vessel of Haitians capsized and a number of them deceased. Do not place your lives in the hands of individuals who only seek to exploit your lives for the sake of profit. We are building safe, orderly, and humane pathways to access the benefits that the law provides and that Congress has passed. But traveling from one country to another in the hands of smugglers, only to be met by the enforcement authorities of the United States government, is not the way to achieve relief.
Michael Yon: If you guys want to go to the jungle, bring your cameras. I'll get you down there. It's epic.
Millie Weaver: I've got kids, and I need to make sure that I live, you know, for their survival.
Michael Yon: I'll get you in. I'll do the safe part. How old are they?
Millie Weaver: I have a just turned 7-year-old son and just turned three-year-old daughter.
Michael Yon: So, yeah, you shouldn't come.
Millie Weaver: They're young. They can't handle me being away for, like, four or five days, and they already start crying and getting really upset.
Michael Yon: I remember when it was like when mama bear wasn't there. It was not fun.
Millie Weaver: Yeah, right. It's kind of doable when dad is gone, right? Because they've got Mama. But for them, when both of us are gone, it's really hard. Do you know what I mean?
Michael Yon: You got to do Mama Bear stuff now.
Millie Weaver: Plus, honestly, I'm kind of a wuss. I don't think I'd be able to make it through the jungle.
Michael Yon: If you handle Washington, D.C., you can handle this.
Millie Weaver: I don't know. It's probably so hot down there. I'd be like, I'm having a heat stroke.
Michael Yon: I don't get a little hot. It's a little hot, actually.
Millie Weaver: Yeah. I've been up in Ohio. You've been seasoned and broken in with being down there in Florida. But even sometimes, when I've been recently down in Florida, I'm feeling like, ooh, this is too hot. I'm going to pass out.
Michael Yon: It's like Florida, but triple canopy hot. It's like Florida hot. Except you don't get to dive into an air conditioner.
Millie Weaver: Right? There's no escape from it.
Michael Yon: I'm always jumping in the river with the kids. I'm going in that river, you know? I just jump in with all my clothes on, and it'll just dry off, you know?
Millie Weaver: I don't think I could trek through the Amazon. I can't trek through the jungle. I don't think I could do that. I think I would need to be airlifted out of there or something because I'd be having a heat stroke.
Michael Yon: You'd be telling this story for the rest of your life?
Millie Weaver: I'd be one of the ones that probably wouldn't make it. So that's why.
Michael Yon: That's why I never answer Michael Yon's messages anymore.
Millie Weaver: Awesome. Well, thanks, Michael. It was a great interview.
Michael Yon: Thank you. See you. Bye-bye.
Millie Weaver: Michael was telling me about how his buddy, who he brought down there, brought his MyPillow down there with him through the jungle to have a nice pillow to sleep on. So remember, you can support real journalism by going to MyPillow.com and get yourself your own pillow so you can have a good night's sleep throughout all this chaos that's going on. And use promo code Millie, M-I-L-L-I-E, to get up to 66% off at MyPillow.com. You guys can also go to Qux.tv and check out the new QuxTV boxes, the future of the big tech fight where Qux is taking on Google and Apple with new electronic devices that don't spy on you. They don't collect your data. You have the utmost privacy, and you can upload your own videos and content. You can even upload your products and sell them in a brand new virtual economy. Make sure you check it out, Qux.tv, and use promo code Millie to save up to $15 off. Your purchases help support real journalism and real news. I'm Millie Weaver, signing off.
Millie Weaver: Some people have asked why the box? Why not just make an app, right? Well, the box gives us several advantages. For one, Qux designs its own hardware and software all the way down to the kernel with over-the-air firmware update capabilities. So when you get your Qux Universal Media Box, there's nothing inside until it's plugged in.
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Unidentified Individual: Have you or a loved one been exposed to liberalism and identified as having Trump Derangement Syndrome? Liberalism is a disease caused by exposure to leftists. Many people are silently suffering from the effects of liberalism. Even families of exposure victims are at risk from secondary exposure. Symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, intolerance of free speech, pale skin, uncontrollable screaming, violent outbursts, hallucinations, and, in extreme cases, mass hysteria. Spotting early warning signs can prevent this tragedy.
Millie Weaver: This is why it is so important to support independent journalists like myself. I hope you decide to help support independent journalism today by going to millennialmillie.com. Your support helps me continue and grow my operation. Thank you.