A CBS News reporter appeared to be stunned when a Border Patrol agent told her that the crisis at the border was the worst that he has seen in decades.
Custom & Border Patrol agent Fernando Grijalva told Mireya Villarreal what he had seen at the border between the United States and Mexico in the state of Arizona.
"Fernando Grijalva says this area has become a hotbed for illegal crossings," Villarreal said to her viewers.
"Let me put it this way, I've seen six different presidents in the time that I've been with the Border Patrol, and this is the worst crisis that I've seen," he explained.
"You actually will use that word, 'crisis'?" she asked.
"Yes," he responded.
Villarreal also appeared surprised that the Border Patrol agents would work without pay since the partial government shutdown began more than a month ago.
"I mean they're working without pay, I mean," she said, "tomorrow will be the second paycheck that they're missing."
"They believe that strongly in the mission and they know they, and we, have a job to do," Grijalva responded.
Villarreal showed a portion of the border that was poorly guarded and explained that many buses drive right up to the lax barrier, and let off migrants who become illegal aliens by simply crossing through.
"Last year, border agents apprehended 52,000 people in this area alone, an increase of more than a thousand apprehensions a month over the previous year," she added.
President Donald Trump has promised a border wall since before he was nominated for the Republican presidential nomination, but his efforts have been stymied first by a few Republicans when his party had control of Congress, and now by Democrats.
On Thursday, the president hinted that he might sign on to a continuing resolution to fund the government and end the shutdown, but only if Democrats agreed to a "down payment" for the wall. He has also indicated that he is looking into the option of declaring a national emergency at the border and using his emergency powers to begin construction without the approval of Congress.