Credit: Screen grab
Don Jr. Accuses CBS of Portraying Human Smugglers as ‘Helpful Humanitarians’

Don Jr. Accuses CBS of Portraying Human Smugglers as ‘Helpful Humanitarians’

“You can’t make this up.”

President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., blasted CBS News on Tuesday for a segment that purportedly humanized coyotes who help illegal immigrants cross into the U.S.

“Wow! CBS Portrays Human Smugglers as Helpful Humanitarians. Great work guys,” Trump Jr. said in reply to a teaser clip of the segment shared to CBS News’ Twitter account.

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In a follow-up tweet, Trump Jr. accused CBS of showing “the kindness of the smugglers they interviewed” and highlighting the discounts given by the smugglers.

The CBS report, “Border Business: Inside Immigration,” begins by sympathetically telling the stories of the smugglers, also known as coyotes.

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One smuggler highlighted by the network, Emerson Gonzalez Jimenez, has been in the black market business for more than a decade. He told CBS he has helped mostly women and children.

“I helped a lot of people, particularly women and children because they have passed through here and not made it,” Jimenez said. “They have fallen and died. And that’s why a person like that needs someone to guide them. And guide them well, because alone, it’s difficult.”

“Most people think we (smugglers) are bad,” Jimenez said. “But if a person needs to go from there to here and can’t do it… and they tell me, ‘I’m going to pay you five, ten, twenty dollars to take me to whatever location’ and I didn’t have a job at the time, to me, that’s good.”

And while Jimenez might tout the humanitarian side of his efforts, he doesn’t work for free, instead charging about $700 to guide immigrants across the Darién Gap.

Another smuggler highlighted by CBS, identified as Augustin, said that the smuggling business has allowed him to make a comfortable living for his family.

Trump Jr. wasn’t the only one to take issue with CBS’ report. Several commenters accused CBS of promoting “human trafficking.”

The segment comes amid contentious discussions over whether the president’s characterization of the situation at the border as a “crisis” is accurate.

Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border in February after Congress declined to fund his proposed border wall.

The House and Senate voted to overturn Trump’s national emergency declaration, but failed to override Trump’s veto on the legislation.

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Cover image: Border smuggler interviewed by CBS. (Screen grab)

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