Texas ranchers and farmers are demanding that the Biden administration pay for property damage caused to their land as a result of increased illegal activity such as smuggling stemming from Biden’s border crisis. Smugglers and immigrants are destroying fences, irrigation systems, and stealing farm equipment as they pass through Southern Texas.
Russell Boening, President of the Texas Farm Bureau explains that this type of vandalism and theft is something ranchers “have always dealt with… but this is different.” He said that the skyrocketing numbers of migrants flowing past the border is “overwhelming,” and added that migrants today have a “brashness” not seen in years past.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, the Puerto Rico Farm Bureau and all 50 state farm bureaus issued a letter to the Biden administration in June, asking that the federal government step up and perform their job of protecting American citizens from this hostile action. The White House held a meeting with officials from the bureau about the damages, and leaders from the bureau requested financial assistance.
June also saw Texas Governor Greg Abbott issue disaster declarations in several counties that were impacted by the exponential level increases in migrant crossings. The governor created a self-reporting system that Texas landowners can use to report damages caused by smugglers and migrants.
Abbott issued a written statement encouraging landowners to “report any personal property damages” that are believed to be related to unlawful immigration. The statement adds that data entered by users into the self reporting system will provide Texas with “necessary data” so that they can best move forward with addressing border crisis matters and offer support to communities and landowners.
Several farmers and ranchers from Texas created video appeals, in which they don’t simply speak about the damage caused to their properties, but also expound on the real and present dangers they now face in everyday life as a consequence of the border crisis.
Boening added some insight into how today’s migrant situation is different than in times past. He said that while mainstream media often focuses on “unaccompanied minors… family units that… give themselves up to authorities,” there’s often little mention of “groups of… male adults… carrying backpacks and… an automatic weapon.” He asks whether or not it’s believable that such individuals are seeking work or asylum.
Author: Lindsay Gardner