SAN ANTONIO – With all the national media attention the border has received in recent months, KSAT 12 is traveling to South Texas with many questions in mind.
One of the many questions: What do people who live and/or work in the area think about all the attention?
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The media attention of family separations, building the border wall and migrants who have died in the process of entering the United States has put towns such as McAllen, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Falfurrias and much more under a microscope.
Much like the old saying goes: To know a person, one must walk a mile in their shoes.
KSAT anchor Steve Spriester, digital reporter Adrian Garcia, photojournalist Luis Cienfuegos and executive producer Mario Orellana will be documenting during the course of their journey reporting along the border.
DAY 4 (Wednesday): (10:05 p.m.) The Border Patrol is warning future truck drivers about the risks they will soon have to be aware of once they receive their commercial license.
The KSAT crew experienced the Brooks County's "Death March" by walking in migrants' footsteps.
Note: KSAT 12 News had permission from ranch owners to walk on their land.
(6:05 p.m.) Many of the undocumented immigrants who are found dead or alive in Brooks County are known by authorities to come from "stash houses" just 50 miles south of the county.
The Hidalgo County Constable Precinct 4 said the immigrants are often found living in deplorable, dangerous conditions at stash houses in the area.
TO WATCH THE STORY, CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW
(5:15 p.m.) The KSAT crew ended its "The Line" series by walking nearly six miles across Brooks County, which is the same path that migrants take when they cross the border. The migrants, however, typically walk about 25 miles with some known to have trekked more than 50 miles.
It is a walk the locals call as the "Death March."
Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Constable told KSAT that rental properties in the area are now being used as “stash houses” by human smugglers.
Officials said authorities found 57 men and women packed inside a stash house two weeks ago. Just last week, 59 more undocumented immigrants were rescued after being found crammed inside another stash house.
(2:30 p.m.) Wednesday is the final day of the #KSATBorderJourney: A walk across Brooks County that locals call the “Death March.” The KSAT crew is walking the same 25-mile trek across rough terrain that migrants take when they cross the border. It’s hot, dry and dangerous in the extreme.
This is how we’re dressing for our #KSATBorderJourney. We’re prepared & have plenty of water. Our walk is just 1/4 of what migrants go through who typically dress & pack up w/ whatever they own #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/y8TQE6J4eS— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 18, 2018
During our now 3 mile walk, we’ve seen barrels like this one with “AGUA” written on them. Inside, ranchers & groups put jugs filled with water. They have these poles right next to them signaling to migrants of nearby water #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/I5t7eAZMoF— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 18, 2018
Just came across this deflated balloon that the deputy who’s escorting us on our walk said can be used as markers by drum smugglers. Sometimes, the smugglers pin them to the trees. #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/hkLU6VQTjW— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 18, 2018
Less than 10 minutes into our walk, this is what we saw in the bushes. The area where we’re walking in is one of the most heavily used trails by migrants in Brooks County #KSATBorderJourney #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/nQlvUeu1y3— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 18, 2018
Good morning from Brooks County. The @ksatnews final day of #KSATBorderJourney: Attempting to walk the same (approx.) 25-mile rough terrain that migrants use when they cross the border. A deputy told us that some walk more than 50 miles ... THE JOURNEY➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 pic.twitter.com/QgtFAmr9uj— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 18, 2018
Starting our day in Brooks County, and the walk that locals call the “Death March.” Illegal Immigrants, border patrol and Brooks County Deputies all make their ways through places that are deadly to those lost or left behind. #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/Y7yj0rXJxk— Steve Spriester (@stevespriester) July 18, 2018
DAY 3 (Tuesday): (11:30 p.m.) Steve Spriester will be providing vlogs at the end of each day as part of KSAT's "The Line" stories near the US-Mexico border.
For day 3, Spriester talks about visiting the towns of Border Pass and Carrizo Springs, which were along the route to Falfurrias in Brooks County.
He also addresses the final day of #KSATBorderJourney where he and the KSAT crew will attempt to walk the 25-mile stretch that the migrants take when they come up from the border.
(10:05 p.m.) Arturo’s Bar and Grill was first established across the border in a small town of Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. With the rise in cartel violence, a second location was built just 10 miles west in Weslaco, Texas.
The restaurant has become a popular spot among the locals after opening up nearly eight years ago.
(6:59 p.m.) The #KSATBorderJourney final destination is Falurrias, Texas, in Brooks County.
KSAT's Steve Spriester, Luis Cienfuegos, Mario Orellana, Sal Salazar and Adrian Garcia will walk the same path that the migrants take in Brooks County.
The Brooks County Sheriff's Office told KSAT from 2004 to today, authorities have found more than 720 skeletal remains of migrants across the area.
BCSO said June, July, and August are historically the deadliest months in the county.
The KSAT crew will attempt to walk the long stretch Wednesday morning that a BCSO deputy said is about 25 miles long but that some migrants do more than 50 miles.
Welcome to our final destination: Falfurrias, Texas. Tomorrow morning, @stevespriester, Photog Luis, Exec. Producer Mario & I will be walking the same path the migrants use, starting at 6:30 a.m. in BROOKS COUNTY. FOLLOW #KSATBorderJourney➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/hVqieLacqj— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 17, 2018
(6:27 p.m.) KSAT’s Steve Spriester and the crew are heading to Falfurrias, Texas, in Brooks County where they will end the #KSATBorderJourney.
Click on the video below to listen in as Spriester provides a recap of today's stops from Eagle Pass and Carrizo Springs where he interviewed South Texas residents about living near the border.
Steve Spriester heading to Brooks County
Have you been following KSAT's “The Line” series on-air and online? Steve Spriester is on Facebook Live to take your questions and is recapping the stories that have aired on KSAT 12 and can be viewed RIGHT NOW on KSAT.com->http://bit.ly/2L0BTBN Tune in and ask your questions!Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
(6:10 p.m.) Lake Amistad in Del Rio attracts anglers from across the world every year but visitors from nearby Texas cities are not coming.
Our third stop before our final destination is Hebbronville, also known as the ‘Vaquero Capitol of Texas.’ We’re just 30 mins away from Brooks County where tomorrow, we will walk the same rough terrain as migrants do. FOLLOW #KSATBorderJourney➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 pic.twitter.com/0h4p7PlgdU— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 17, 2018
KSAT anchor Steve Spriester and the crew are traveling to Brooks County where they will trek the same rough terrain as the migrants who use it to avoid the checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas.
(4:25 p.m.) The Border Patrol announced a new initiative to help migrants who are lost during their trek through the Rio Grande Valley.
(2:15 p.m.) The second stop in the #KSATBorderJourney is Carrizo Springs, Texas, which is along the route to Brooks County.
Steve Spriester met up with a resident and a new business owner who shared their thoughts on the small town.
The #KSATBorderJourney makes it 2nd stop in Carrizo Springs. The small town (<6,000) is on the route to Brooks County where we will walk the same rough terrain as the migrants who use it to avoid the Falfurrias Checkpoint. FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/kZt7sx7AVv— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 17, 2018
(11:45 a.m.) The first stop in #KSATBorderJourney is Eagle Pass, Texas, with Piedras Negras just across the International Bridge.
KSAT anchor Steve Spriester talked with some residents who shared their experience about living in a border town.
Our first stop in #KSATBorderJourney is Eagle Pass with Piedras Negras just across the border. @stevespriester talked w/ some residents who shared their experience about living in a border town. ‘The Line’➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/LTaypOK7hk— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 17, 2018
(10:20 a.m.) The KSAT news team is on the road heading to Brooks County where they meet up with Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, walking the same rough terrain as the migrants who use it to avoid the Falfurrias Checkpoint.
Next stop in #KSATBorderJourney: Eagle Pass. @stevespriester, the crew & I are on the road heading to Brooks County but making stops in towns along the route. Days 1 & 2 for 'The Line' series are online RIGHT NOW on https://t.co/9vJTopdcvD➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/0EJTniW0st— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 17, 2018
DAY 2 (MONDAY): (11:45 p.m.) Steve Spriester will be providing vlogs at the end of each day as part of KSAT's "The Line" stories near the US-Mexico border. For day 2, Spriester talks about his breakfast discussion with locals from Del Rio, the crew's reporting on Lake Amistad and what he expects for the next day as KSAT heads south to Brooks County.
(10:00 p.m.) Meet the women who have called the Rio Grande and the Texas-Mexico border their backyard for 20 years.
"I wouldn't want to live anywhere else," Del Rio woman said.
(8:10 p.m.) Steve Spriester and the KSAT crew met up with a couple of viewers who have been following the #KSATBorderJourney. When they saw the crew during dinner, one man said, "Hey y'all are doing 'The Line' stories, right? Y'all are going to Eagle Pass, Carrizo Springs and Falfurrias next."
I am not complaining about the heat for the rest of the day!! These 4 guys work the flight line at Laughlin AFB. It was 110 on the flight line today! I thanked them for what they do, and for watching KSAT. #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/LPmibx7pzz— Steve Spriester (@stevespriester) July 17, 2018
(6:05 p.m.) KSAT anchor Steve Spriester sat down with some of the locals for breakfast to talk about some of the issues that have gained national media attention.
For them, however, they say the city has bigger issues than just being a border town.
To view the story, click on the video below:
(5:00 p.m.) KSAT.com's Adrian Garcia navigated around Del Rio capturing murals that celebrate the culture between neighboring countries.
The murals in #DelRio celebrate the culture between the neighboring countries. Less than six miles west of the city is Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico. #KSATBorderJourney➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 pic.twitter.com/fYXOjJeGRX— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 16, 2018
KSAT 12 News reporter Jessie Degollado visited with the Penitas Police Department, with only about a dozen officers who have a lot of miles to patrol and who often are the first to encounter illegal activity coming across the Rio Grande west of Mission.
(2:20 p.m.) The KSAT crew went on a boat to explore Lake Amistad where "The Line" splits the lake.
In an interview, local guides told Steve Spriester that people do not visit Lake Amistad because of common misperceptions and it being so close to the border.
Today, @stevespriester, the crew & I toured Lake Amistad where ‘The Line’ splits the lake. Despite its beauty, local guides told Steve that people do not visit bcuz of common misperceptions & it being so close to the border. FOLLOW #KSATBorderJourney➡️ https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 pic.twitter.com/JFoJQ1i97P— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 16, 2018
(1:50 p.m.) KSAT’s Steve Spriester and the crew just toured Lake Amistad where the Rio Grande not only feeds into but also spans the border.
Click on the video below to listen in as Spriester provides a rundown of today's reporting from Del Rio.
Steve Spriester - Lake Amistad
LIVE: KSAT’s Steve Spriester and the crew just toured Lake Amistad where the Rio Grande not only feeds into but also spans the border. Listen in and ask your questions. FOLLOW ALONG on KSAT.com—> bit.ly/2L0BTBN #KSATnewsPosted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Monday, July 16, 2018
(7:35 a.m.) KSAT's Steve Spriester kicks off Day 2 of "The Line" by talking and eating breakfast with locals from Del Rio with many questions in mind.
One of the questions: What's like to live and/or work near the border especially with the recent national media attention?
Despite what he’s finding on his Del Rio property near the Rio Grande, Gilbert Rodriguez says he still feels safe. Rodriguez & his friends talk w/ @stevespriester. Watch their story today at 6 p.m. & follow #KSATBorderJourney on https://t.co/w4I3SoZDgH➡️https://t.co/IKj8BMlys1 pic.twitter.com/vMLS6WOGXz— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) July 16, 2018
Good morning from #DelRio! @stevespriester is starting DAY 2 of ‘The Line’ series talking & eating breakfast w/ locals. Q: What’s like to live and/or work near the border especially w/ all recent national media attention. FOLLOW LIVE➡️https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/nHZDh9wTcM— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 16, 2018
Day 2: @stevespriester met up w/ #DelRio locals who eat breakfast together every morning. Some Q’s asked: What’s it like to live/work near the border? How do you feel about being under microscope w/ national attention? FOLLOW LIVE➡️https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/UJtYJYVzpN— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 16, 2018
DAY 1 (SUNDAY):
(11:30 p.m.) Steve Spriester will be providing vlogs at the end of each day as part of KSAT's "The Line" stories near the US-Mexico border. Spriester dives deep into what he and the crew experienced, his takeaways from the day 1 in Del Rio, Texas, and what he expects for the next day of reporting.
Click below to watch Spriester's Day 1 Vlog.
(9:55 p.m.) KSAT 12 officially starts the series of stories from along the border. The crew's first stop for "The Line" series is in Del Rio. Scroll below to see the tweets, Instagram posts and videos from today's #KSATBorderJourney.
Tonight, @ksatnews officially starts a series of stories from along the border. @stevespriester is in #DelRio for the first stop of #KSATBorderJourney “The Line.” Tune in to Nightbeat to catch Steve LIVE from the International Bridge. STORY➡️https://t.co/IKj8BMlys1 #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/EKt6OPCuMa— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) July 16, 2018
(7:41 p.m.) KSAT's Steve Spriester met up with two residents whose backyard is the Rio Grande River that splits the United States from Mexico.
Scenes from Del Rio, day one of our border journey. Very friendly people, more than willing to talk about their community and the border town they call home!! #KSATBorderJourney pic.twitter.com/yFmz0dwrQR— Steve Spriester (@stevespriester) July 16, 2018
The Rio Grande River not only divides the United States & Mexico, but is also the backyard to many in #DelRio. @stevespriester talked with two residents who describe living at “The Line.” Follow @ksatnews LIVE #KSATBorderJourney➡️https://t.co/TYtYMmLKY0 #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/WLjVbtzMcD— Adrian Garcia (@adrianrolgarcia) July 16, 2018
Listen to Spriester as he describes the interview with the two residents and other takeaways from today's interviews.
Steve Spriester near Rio Grande River
LIVE: KSAT’s Steve Spriester and the crew are right next to the US-Mexico border where they just spoke to two residents whose backyard is the Rio Grande River. Steve is providing an update for the series, “The Line.” Listen in and ask your questions.Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Sunday, July 15, 2018
(3:11 p.m.) KSAT crew travels to Del Rio for their first "The Line" stop to meet up with a family who has lived near the US-Mexico border and talk to them about their livelihood experience.
Spriester provides a rundown of what viewers can expect as KSAT reports near the US-Mexico border for the series, "The Line."
Click on the video below to watch the Facebook Live.