EAGLE PASS, Texas — Thousands of migrants marching through Texas ranches as far as 80 miles from the U.S. border continues to disrupt the lives of those who live and work in these regions. Governor Greg Abbott told Breitbart Texas the chaos and crime in these areas are “worse than it has ever been.”
“Their lives have been disrupted like never before,” Governor Abbott said in an exclusive interview late last week. “There are people coming in across the border and going onto the land, cutting fences that hold in cattle, sometimes cattle are lost as a result of it.”
He said these trespassers are “breaking into homes, destroying property, sometimes, pointing a gun at people’s heads. It is worse than it’s ever been.”
The governor said the volume of migrant crossings adds to the created chaos on ranches in south Texas. He added that this is not simply unaccompanied minors or family units that are making the trek through the ranches.
“These are people who are trying to not get caught,” Abbott explained. “People who are coming here, some of whom have criminal records. We know that because of some of the people we have arrested.”
Breitbart Texas spoke with officials with the Texas Military Department about the arrests taking place by brush team soldiers on ranches.
“Over the past 90 days, the brush team has supported more than 1,000 apprehensions along the Texas-Mexico border,” TMD Director of Communications Rita Holton told Breitbart. “Approximately 30 percent of these individuals apprehended had a prior criminal record for activities such as sexual assault, drug smuggling, and human smuggling.”
A TMD military officer who commands the brush team operations told Breitbart they are the “last line defense” against the migrants who intend to get into the U.S. interior without being screened or apprehended.
“We use a variety of sensors and techniques to identify where these folks are coming from and where they are going,” the officer stated. “We are on our feet eight to 15 miles per night using ‘old school tracking’ and the technology available for our mission.”
He explained groups range in size from five migrants to more than 50 at a time. “Some of these have criminal histories that include narcotics smuggling or sexual assault.”
“I’ve seen a number of things,” the officer continued. “I’ve seen things like people running for miles and we give chase. We’ve seen folks driving their vehicles through private property — driving them till the wheels fall off — and then bailing out of the vehicles.”
Governor Abbott said that while the National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety do a great job of trying to stop those making their way inland they cannot get them all and those become a threat to other regions of the state and nation.
“They don’t stay in the border counties,” the governor stated. “They go about the state of Texas and will eventually go to other states.”
“The border abuts up to every other state in the United States of American today,” Abbott said. “What comes across the border goes in and around the entire United States.
Abbott said the efforts of the Texas Military Department are having a positive effect on the lives of the ranchers who live and work in South Texas. He explained that one way to measure that is to look at what would be happening if we were not there.
“One thing that would be happening … We’ve seized enough fentanyl to kill well over 200 million people,” he stated. “If we were not here, we would not have seized that and the fentanyl would be killing people in Texas and in other states.”
“But also, we’ve been able to secure large ranches and pieces of property along the border or even one county in from the border that had been overrun,” the governor added. “If we were not here, those ranchers, those residents would be overrun.
“So we’re returning life to greater normalcy for these landowners, property owners, people who live down here,” Abbott concluded. “We’re restoring that sense of public safety that they deserve to have that was only destroyed by the Biden administration’s open border policies.”
Editor’s Note: This is part two of an exclusive interview with Governor Greg Abbott. In the first segment, the governor discussed the acquisition of border wall panels by Texas that were abandoned by the Biden administration. The entire interview can be seen here.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face
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