Brent Smith said he and other residents have experienced damages to vital fencing on ranch property and some landowners have hired private security "to defend their own property rights," he told Fox & Friends on Monday.
"Us Americans, in this part of Texas, we don't have the same rights as other people do," Smith said. "We can't enjoy our property and go in our backyards anymore at night. It's a tragedy."
Smith sharply criticized President Joe Biden's administration policies, such as his decision to stop construction of the border wall and the undoing of former President Donald Trump's remain in Mexico policy, which had migrants wait outside the United States while awaiting their asylum cases to be heard.
Biden's decision has rendered a record surge in migrants at the United States-Mexico border, straining the capacity of immigration facilities and inspiring some Republican-led states to send additional law enforcement personnel to aid federal border agents.
Customs and Border Protection agents reported witnessing nearly 190,000 attempted illegal crossings in June, a 21-year high. Also, in the same month, apprehensions surpassed the 1 million milestone for fiscal 2021.
Smith, a Kinney County attorney, said he is prosecuting a noticeable uptick of trespassing cases by illegal immigrants attempting to evade Border Patrol by crossing through private property. He added that insurance companies are not helping to foot the bill.
"If it's a stolen vehicle that goes through the property, their vehicle insurance isn’t going to pay for it, and ours won't either, so the landowners are stuck with paying for this," Smith said.
On July 30, Rep. August Pfluger of Texas introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to reimburse farmers and ranchers dealing with unexpected costs due to vandalism of their property from the migrant surge.
Plfuger said some farmers and ranch families along the Texas border have been "put at risk" by the influx of migrants crossing over, adding, "They are facing unprecedented levels of damage and vandalism to their properties," according to a statement sent to the Washington Examiner.
"I have spoken with countless farmers and ranchers whose livelihoods are being threatened — it is time we secure our border and ensure our local communities don’t continue paying the price for this crisis," Plfuger said of the RAPID Act, which is co-sponsored by fellow Texas GOP Rep. Tony Gonzales and two Texas Democrats in the House, Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez.
The legislation backed by the Republican representatives would take $300 million from unused COVID-19 rescue funds to pay farmers and ranchers for damages on their property related to vandalism, including crop loss, livestock loss, fence repair and replacement, and other structural damages.
Farmers and ranchers near the border are enduring livestock loss, crop loss, and damage to fences, physical structures, and more at the hands of trespassing coyotes and illegal migrants.
My bill, the #RAPIDAct, would reimburse farmers for these damages.https://t.co/jpVQo7bsDi
— Rep. August Pfluger (@RepPfluger) August 2, 2021
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Texas rancher confronted with $60K in property damage tied to migrants