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America's Broken Border: South Texas Landowners Face the Dangerous Fallout of Biden Policies

06-24-2021
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Biden halted border wall construction, leaving gaps in the fence. (Photo courtesy: Sen. James Lankford via Facebook)
President Biden halted border wall construction on Jan. 20, leaving gaps in the fence. (Photo courtesy: Sen. James Lankford via Facebook)

A giant metal fence slices through the south Texas plantation that's been in Dottie's family for generations. 
 
"The situation has changed over the years. It's whopping. It's a humongous change. There was no fence, no wall," said Dottie.

Dottie, who asked us not to use her last name for her safety, has a bird's eye view of Mexico and a deep appreciation for the Border Patrol agents who vigilantly keep watch.

"What they go through to protect our properties... Without Border Patrol, we don't have a country," she told CBN News.

Growing up, Dottie watched as laborers from Mexico freely went back and forth between countries. 
 
"They were super nice people. They come over, they would work for the day and go back over. As the years went by, the government decided let's change things," said Dottie.

Dottie says the people have also changed over the years. 

"You have all these people coming from all these different countries here, and now just hordes of them come through at a time. Okay, so how do you tell the good from the bad?" said Dottie. 
 
Since President Biden took office, illegal entries in the United States are hitting new highs estimated to be more than a million this year.  
 
"It is the direct consequence of the Biden administration to stop building the wall, to return to catch-and-release, and to end the stay in Mexico policy," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Desperate to be heard, south Texas ranchers are using social media to blame Biden for the flood of Central Americans and others sneaking across the border every hour of the day and onto their land.

"Who in their right mind when they say, 'amnesty, give them a free pass', the government promising them healthcare?" These are not the people we want coming into this country," said Brock Wilkerson, a local landowner. 

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Across thousands of miles of ranchlands, migrants running from the law have long posed a challenge, constantly causing damage even many miles from the border. 
 
As numbers swell at the border, more migrants are trekking on foot or packed into vehicles heading north through these parts.

Ranchers here say they've never seen so many people and so much danger. 
 
"We come upon their camps where we find a bunch of backpacks, trash, everything, said Stephanie Crisp-Canales. "There's been numerous ranchers assaulted while they were opening a gate."    
 
Some ranchers are finding very young children and even infants left alone after being dumped by smugglers. 

There's also concern about President Biden's plan to ground the Border Patrol's "Eyes in the Sky" that have dotted the south Texas skyline for years.

"It's like we've been abandoned and left alone, and all of the technologies that were in place, the aerostats that were on private property north of the Border Patrol checkpoint, have all been removed. There's no valid technology being used to help landowners north of the border," said Susan Kibbe of the South Texans' Property Rights Association.

Agents say illegal crossers and their smugglers are also taking advantage of gaps left in the border wall since Biden ended construction the day he took office.   
 
All of the equipment is stopped, construction crews are gone and there are still miles and miles of gaps up and down the border line.

Dottie, who once opposed any border wall or fence on her property, now fears it will be torn down.

"Those people in D.C. want to get rid of this wall, this fence and the wall that's underneath it, get rid of it, open the borders, let them come across. I won't be able to live here if they do that," said Dottie. 
 
She's not the only one. Landowners throughout south Texas report an alarming increase in home and shed break-ins, expensive fences and irrigation lines cut, drugs left behind and high-speed chases tearing through their yards. For each arrest overworked border agents and other law enforcement make, many more are getting away.   
 
"We definitely need to regroup and have a strong immigration reform. Without that, it's going to continue. As of right now, as we sit here, yes, it's definitely the wrong direction," said Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez.

Dottie believes it also sends the wrong message to migrants.

"Why in the world should they spend the time and money to come over legally, when they can just take a chance and pop in the river? Because it's not just the good people that are doing this. It is the increase in bad people who are taking over here along the border, have bought out, squeezed out the people who lived there, their lives and their families," said Dottie.

Like a growing number of south Texans, she hopes she's not next to be forced to leave. 

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