A rancher in southwestern New Mexico is pleading for help from state and federal authorities after claiming migrants kidnapped one of her ranch hands. Others also expressed grievances suffered by the steady flow of migrants into the desolate border region.
“We have to get the word out that we have a crisis down here,” rancher Tricia Elrock told reporters from KOB 4 Investigates when they visited the border county of Hidalgo, New Mexico. “The worst part of it, we had an employee kidnapped. And that was probably the worst night of my entire life until we got him back.”
Rancher Randy Massey told the reporters, “We’ve had vehicles stolen.”
“It’s getting to the point where these confrontations are getting more aggressive and more and more violent,” rancher Kris Massey added regarding the current border crisis.
The ranchers explained to the investigative news team during an impromptu town hall meeting that the lack of a proper border barrier is the root of the problems in the area. In parts of this region, the border is marked only by a barbed wire fence or Normandy barriers. The Normandy barriers are three to five feet tall steel crosses that are effective at stopping vehicles, but not pedestrians.
Hildalgo County Sheriff Warren Walter also pleaded for help. “The citizens aren’t protected,” he said. “We need to have more manpower.”
Like many border sheriffs, Walter is understaffed to deal with this type of unprecedented migration of Central American families and minors.
“With my four officers – days off, vacation time, sick leave — we can’t cover 24 hours a day,” the sheriff explained. “We are basically 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at night. That’s the best I can do. In my honest opinion, that’s not fair to the citizens of the county.”
Hidalgo County Manager Tisha Green sent a letter to the New Mexico governor and the state’s U.S. senators. She wrote, “We feel there is an imminent threat to the safety and welfare of our citizens in Hidalgo County. Resources such as medical, law enforcement and sanitation are amongst those most needed.”
Governor Michelle Jujan Grisham rebuked the claims of a crisis at the border. “While I’ve been to this area of the border many times,” the governor stated. “I haven’t seen anything that indicates that we have an emergency crisis here at the border and that’s important to talk to New Mexicans about and I also think it’s important to talk to the nation about.”
At a time where border law enforcement officials are begging for assistance and additional resources, Governor Lujan Grisham is even considering removing the state’s National Guard troops who were deployed last year under then-Governor Susana Martinez, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Breitbart News reported extensively on the massive increase in migrant traffic through southwestern New Mexico. In late January, El Paso Sector Border Patrol officials (New Mexico is part of the El Paso Sector) reported that at least 2,500 migrants crossed through this small section of the southwestern U.S. border.
Prior to the recent surge of migrants, law enforcement in this area would normally see a few hundred illegal immigrants crossing the border per year. Now they are seeing hundreds per day. Since the new fiscal year began on October 1, 2018, at least 25 groups of more than 100 migrants each have been apprehended.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the pressure on Border Patrol agents due to the unsecured border is pushing the system “to a breaking point.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face