Texas Farm Bureau president discusses border problems
The President of the Texas Farm Bureau says many of their members are concerned for their farms, ranches, and the safety of their families and employees because of the surge of foreigners crossing the southern border.
Russell Boening tells Brownfield producers in the border states are dealing with non-stop issues. “The damage to property, whether it be your crops, your fences, and other things like that, and then just the safety issue when there’s that number of people coming through, and some of them quite frankly with criminal intent.”
Boening says it is common for human traffickers to steal vehicles, and when law enforcement tries to catch them, they go off-road into fences and fields where the occupants “bailout” or split up and run, knowing some will not get caught. “We have folks telling us that they would see a bailout maybe once every couple of weeks on their property, maybe once a month. They see two or three a day now. The sheer magnitude I think is kind of what’s overwhelming.”
And those bailouts are costing farmers and ranchers a lot of time and money. “There’s no one that’s going to pay you back for that. You’re on your own for that. It does get expensive. And, just the vigilance that you have to have checking those fences to make sure your livestock don’t get out, going around doing that, picking up trash, and then you have to do all of that with your safety in the back of your mind.”
Boening says the border state Farm Bureaus of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas wrote a letter asking for help from the Biden administration, and he’s grateful every state’s Farm Bureau signed onto the letter.
So far, Boening says he’s had no response from Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, or the White House.