Watch Rep. Duncan Hunter Try to Cross a Border Illegally and Fail

Turns out the fence wasn’t really a border at all.

Denis Poroy/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Beleaguered California Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, who was indicted last year for illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, recently took a trip to Yuma, Arizona, to demonstrate once and for all how easy it is to cross the border between the United States and Mexico. 

In a Facebook video released Thursday, Hunter, looking like an unshaven undercover agent standing in the dark, claimed to be 15 meters from the border with Mexico. He said that the country was being “overwhelmed” by immigrants trying to enter and wanted to show exactly how porous our borders were. He repeated how necessary it was for Congress to “secure the border and build a wall.”

“We expect to stop transnational terrorists, families, all illegal aliens from crossing the border,” he said incredulously as he pointed to a low fence he thought marked  the border and easily climbed over it. Unfortunately, he missed his target. A Border Patrol spokesman told the Times of San Diego that the actual border was along the Colorado River 100 feet away from where Hunter stood. 

“Hunter either broke the law and violated conditions of his release issued by a judge not to leave the continental US, or he was pulling a political stunt and lied,” his one-time Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar said in a statement to NBC News on Friday. Earlier this year, Campa-Najjar announced he would challenge Hunter again in 2020. 

In August, a federal judge told Hunter and his wife Margaret, his former campaign manager, that they couldn’t leave the United States or travel to Mexico while they were out on bail. Hunter’s spokesman told the Times of San Diego that Campa-Najjar’s insistence that Hunter violated his parole represented a “non-issue typical of someone desperate for a headline” that took the focus away from border security. 

Hunter and his wife are expected to go on trial in September. 


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend