FAA grounds Fox News drone exposing border crisis

By Art Moore

Footage from a Fox News drone camera at the Del Rio International Bridge on Sept. 16, 2021 (Video screenshot)

The Biden administration shut down a Fox News drone flying over the U.S.-Mexico border after its cameras showed thousands of people who had crossed illegally into the United States crammed under a bridge, waiting to be processed.

The Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA, said in a statement that “the Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border.”

The FAA added that “as with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”

The “stunning footage” of more than 9,000 illegal immigrants at the border was shown on Fox News “Special Report” on Thursday, reported the Media Research Center’s Newsbuster site.

See the Fox News coverage:

National correspondent Bill Melugin said the “drones spotted masses of migrants crossing from Ciudad Acuna Mexico over a dam in the Rio Grande and into the United States illegally.”

“They then stream into Del Rio via dirt path, hundreds coming by the hour with more on the way every day,” he said, reporting that the number of people under the bridge had doubled within 24 hours to more than 9,000, according to a law enforcement source who said they mostly were Haitians.

“Local Border Patrol holding facilities are well overcapacity,” Melugin said.

Two hours later, on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Melugin broke the news that the FAA had issued a temporary flight restriction (TFR) over the entire area.

He explained to Carlson the order “means our drone can no longer fly and show those images.”

“It is a two-week TFR, and according to the FAA, it is for special security reasons. We’ve reached out to the FAA to get a little clarification on what the heck that means,” Melugin said.

He added that the “timing on this, the location, a little bit curious” after the Fox New team had been there for seven months.

“All of a sudden, the last 24-hours, we start showing images at this bridge and a TFR goes up, we can no longer fly.”

Carlson told Melguin “our company will ignore the FAA.”

“They have no right to shut down newsgathering,” he said. “They don’t own the news.”

‘This is unsustainable’
On Friday, Melugin was able to report from the air aboard a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter.

He said people were going back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. without any resistance.

“This is the most remarkably stunning thing we have seen so far in terms of how bad this problem is,” he said.

“Something has got to change pretty quick, guys, because this is unsustainable for these poor agents on the ground who have got to deal with this.”

On Thursday night, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, posted a video report from the Del Rio bridge:

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