by Jennie Taer
Several local officials and residents in southern border counties are questioning Democratic mayors’ complaints over illegal migrants being bused to their states by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“All I have to say is welcome to my world,” Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The property damage, the damaged fences, the broken water wells, the broken water lines, the theft of the vehicles, the criminal trespass and the burglaries, you name it they’re doing it.”
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that Texas has overburdened their resources after busing migrants to their respective states. But the two Democrats’ grievances are nothing new for border cities, who have had to deal with the millions of migrants that have been encountered during the Biden administration.
“This is a very significant issue. We have for sure called on the federal government to work across state lines to prevent people from really being tricked into getting on buses,” Bowser said Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation of the overwhelmed homeless shelters in her city.
Adams echoed Bowser’s sentiments during a press conference Thursday, calling it “a real burden on New Yorkers.”
Ranchers dealing with illegal migrants crossing their property is something Brad Whitaker, who manages a ranch in Spofford, Texas, wishes Bowser and Adams could see for themselves.
“They don’t have a minute taste of what’s going on down here compared to what’s in Washington, D.C. We couldn’t have that many people up there as what we have down here,” Whitaker told the DCNF.
Whitaker said his biggest fear is finding a dead illegal migrant on his property one day. The day before he spoke with the DCNF, Whitaker’s wife encountered an illegal migrant with a machete on their property.
“With this heat right now. I’m driving around, and I see a vulture and I cringe, just because the fear is walking up and I’ve got a body. My neighbor already had one [death] on their ranch,” he said.
Kinney County, Texas, has had over 5,000 arrests of criminal trespassing and migrant smuggling since August, local attorney Brent Smith told the DCNF.
“We’re dealing with our residence being shot at and our property being stolen, damaged. I’m more concerned about Texas. First, their safety, security before I’m concerned about anyone else,” Smith said.
BORDER REPORT: The first group of migrants I encountered last week in Yuma, AZ were from China, Peru, Georgia, Venezuela, Cuba, and India
Only a few dozen migrants out of the ~1,500 crossing each day into the Yuma border sector are being returned under Title 42 pic.twitter.com/iqdwAX0QKH
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) May 31, 2022
The numbers of migrants Washington and New York are receiving pale in comparison to what the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, a faith-based nongovernmental organization in Del Rio, Texas, accommodates on a daily basis, the organization’s director, Tiffany Burrow, told the DCNF Friday. Burrow spoke with the DCNF while she was dealing with a crisis situation and only spoke for a few minutes because she had the largest number of migrants she’s ever had to accommodate.
“It’s a couple thousand over months of time, we see a couple thousand in one day, our sector is at 1,700 a day. And the buses make sense for those going to the East Coast. And a lot of them aren’t staying in DC,” Burrow told the DCNF.
‘We Have Problems’
Some of the poorest border counties are the most overwhelmed, like in Maverick County, which is home to Eagle Pass, Texas, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently opened a new processing facility to process an influx of migrants.
“It’s a headache for us. Here in Maverick county, we have a lot of immigrants that are coming through here,” Maverick County Sheriff Tom Schmerber told the DCNF.
“We have problems with the ranchers that they [illegal migrants] go into those properties and through the communities that people are afraid with strangers walking around the vicinity,” Schmerber added.
In Southwest Texas, Terrell County Sheriff Thaddeus Cleveland has seen eight migrant deaths in less than two months in the remote desert he patrols.
“They’re seeing a small portion, they’re overwhelmed. And the initial overwhelming starts here, but they’re just seeing a piece of it because they’re going throughout the United States. But no, it’s not the governor of Texas doing this to them, they’re gonna be going there regardless,” Cleveland told the DCNF. “Right now we’re up to 3500 arrests, prosecuted for just criminal trespass on local property in the county.”
Abbott has bused over 5,500 migrants to Washington, D.C., his spokesperson Renae Eze confirmed to the DCNF.
“If these Democrat mayors are now that concerned about having migrants in their cities, they should call on President Biden to do his job and secure the border, instead of attacking Texas with baseless political accusations. Texas has only been busing migrants to Washington, D.C. since the Governor launched the border mission back in April, busing over 5,500 to our nation’s capital —and counting,” Eze told the DCNF.
“Our border communities are being overrun and overwhelmed as President Biden’s open border policies encourage record-high illegal crossings and deadly drugs like fentanyl to flood into our state, and Texas is utilizing every strategy to help our local partners. Every American community is a border community until President Biden secures our southern border,” Eze said.
Neither Bowser’s nor Adams’ office responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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Jennie Taer is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Migrant Bus” by PAYEL PEACE Foundation.