Where there’s no wall: How landowners see the border

Immigration

All over the borderland, some property owners are feeling uneasy on their own land. What’s making them uncomfortable: The signs of a dangerous journey through their private properties, made by immigrants crossing into the United States. 

“It makes you hesitant about leaving and going somewhere because you don’t know what’s going to happen while you’re gone,” said a private property owner who requested to remain anonymous.  

The man, whose land is located on a mesa near Artcraft in West El Paso, believes immigrants have been crossing through his family’s land for as long as he can remember. However, he now has reason to believe the groups are getting larger. 

He knows this because they have left behind so-called carpet shoes, makeshift foam shoes used to hide footprints in the sand, hiding tracks from the watchful eyes of Border Patrol agents.

By counting just one batch he found on his property just 150 yards away from his home, just one group was made up of at least 18 immigrants. 

This longtime rancher acknowledges these immigrants are searching for a better life. He just wishes they would respect his property.

“It’s unsettling to know to know that they’re getting this close due to the fact that when my kids ride their horses they ride out here, it makes you leery about letting your kids out to play, ride, do whatever, on your own land, in your own backyard,” said the property owner.

His family’s 200 acres are around 10 miles east of the U.S.-Mexico Border near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. It’s a problem that’s been going on for years, according to him, made worse by the lack of border fencing near his property.

He said remnants of barbed wire fencing is the closest thing resembling a border fence.

The property owner says he thinks the country’s focus is on the main ports of entry, and not on the people living in the less secure border areas. 

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