‘I don’t feel threatened’: El Paso residents near border discuss migrant crossings

Immigration

Homeowners in the Lower Valley have had a front-row view of the migrants turning themselves in at the fence.

Many of the neighbors who live near Yarbrough and the Border Highway told KTSM they’ve been living in the area for more than 20 years and find migrant crossings to be the norm. 

However, neighbors said they had never seen such a large group of migrants at the fence like they did Tuesday into Wednesday. 

According to Border Patrol, more than 1,000 migrants were apprehended after turning themselves in on Wednesday. 

“When I left early in the morning, there was a large group of them,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified. “When I came back at noon, they were still there. Late in the evening, they were still there. That is why I decided to take them some water.”

The neighbor tells KTSM she has lived in her home for 25 years, not once having an incident with migrants who have crossed over. She said, “It doesn’t bother me, I feel sorry for these people. I know they’re seeking a better life and what better place than in the United States.”

Another neighbor, who also did not want to be identified, said she did not feel threatened by migrants across a fence less than a couple of hundred yards from her home. “They are human beings, they have kids and are looking for a better life.” 

According to Border Patrol, two of the men among the group processed on Wednesday were convicted sex offenders. Another man was a U.S. citizen with a lengthy criminal history.

A woman, Carmen Valenzuela, who dropped by the neighborhood Thursday afternoon to check on her elderly father said the numbers were alarming for her, especially because her father lives alone. 

“We don’t know what type of people might come knocking on his door,” said Valenzuela. “We know that a lot of these people come and try and make a living out here. They are hard-working people, but who knows one or two under the bunch they might be looters or going into homes.” 

For the most part, neighbors told KTSM they felt Border Patrol agents did a good job stopping migrants from coming into their neighborhoods. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.