The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to drone footage of thousands of migrants under a Texas bridge by implementing a temporary ban on drone flights in the area.
This, according to a new Fox News report.
Fox has revealed that the FAA “has placed a two-week flight restriction along a bridge at the southern border inundated with thousands of illegal immigrants” something they say “prevents reporters from flying drones to document the crisis.”
Bill Melugin, a national correspondent with Fox News, was the first to reveal the temporary ban.
“We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two-week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX,” he tweeted, “meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants.”
The FAA, however, has made no indication their actions are retaliatory or reflexive in nature.
Melugin says the FAA cited a “special security reason.”
NEW: We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says “special security reason”. pic.twitter.com/aJrjAPO2Pz
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 17, 2021
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Drone Footage Prompts Flight to be Grounded by FAA
The Political Insider reported Thursday that over 8,000 migrants, according to drone footage and estimates by officials, had been camping out under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
Officials had indicated the migrants are remaining under the bridge in anticipation of being arrested and processed for crossing the southern border illegally.
Melugin at the time indicated that Border Patrol was “overwhelmed” by the situation.
BREAKING: Our drone is back over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX. Per source, the number of migrants waiting to be processed has now swelled to approx 8,200. It was 4,000 yesterday AM. Doubled in one day. BP overwhelmed, & I’m told situation is “out of control” @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/ThJJJ0JWCT
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 16, 2021
The situation comes as reports have surfaced that the border crisis continues to flail out of control.
In August, 208,887 illegal immigrants were apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, making this the highest number for August in 21 years and the second month in a row where encounters have surpassed 200,000.
And now the Biden Administration is stopping reporters from covering the border crisis in Del Rio. Is there anything about which this Administration tells the truth https://t.co/Bi6qnED5XI
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 17, 2021
Was the FAA Move on Purpose?
The Fox News report is heavily laden with an insinuation that the Biden FAA instituted a temporary ban on drone flights very purposefully.
Melugin says that the network “has been covering the border nonstop for almost 7 months now, we use the drone constantly, and it has never been an issue.”
He added that Fox has reached out to the FAA for comment but has yet to hear back.
There is no indication that the White House has any knowledge of the move made to ban drone footage at the border by the FAA. And there is no proof currently that they did so specifically to stop Fox News from reporting on the crisis.
But it’s certainly raising eyebrows.
What a coincidence.
The FAA better be ready to explain to Congress why they’re suddenly blocking the media from covering Biden’s border crisis. https://t.co/fd2y7G8RRg
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 17, 2021
“Now the Biden Administration is stopping reporters from covering the border crisis in Del Rio,” a skeptical Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted. “Is there anything about which this Administration tells the truth?”
“What a coincidence,” an equally cynical Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wrote.
Cotton though, suggested the FAA would be called to explain their actions.
“The FAA better be ready to explain to Congress why they’re suddenly blocking the media from covering Biden’s border crisis,” he added.
Republicans have suggested the drone footage of migrants under the bridge in Texas is proof that President Biden’s border policies are not working.
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