West Texas is Getting Pummeled by Latest Migrant Surge at the Border

West Texas is getting rocked by an unprecedented wave of mass migration 

A Los Angeles Times report by Molly Hennessy-Fiske exposed some of the many harrowing incidents residents of border areas in West Texas have to face as a result of increased illegal immigration. 

Ranch manager Cole Hill had numerous encounter with illegals, which Hennessy-Fiske highlighted in her piece:

Hill had responded to a burglary at another residence earlier that day. And two days before that, migrants broke into a house at the 8,000-acre Gun Hill Ranch about 100 miles west of San Antonio. Hill spotted the migrants inside and guessed they might have discovered the guns. He drew his 9 mm handgun and entered.

Several migrant men fled ahead of him out another door, dropping a rifle and shotgun and scattering ammunition. The men were caught the next day by the Border Patrol, he said, armed with knives stolen from the house. Hill pressed charges against them for trespassing under a new order issued by the Texas governor in response to what he has called a border crisis of the Biden administration’s making.

“We’ve been abandoned by this administration,” Hill declared. “I don’t want to have to defend myself out here.”

Ranchers in the area, who have raised cattle, deer, and exotic game, have been shocked by how migrants have approached their homes. In some cases, these migrants walk up to children as they are playing outside. 

Furthermore, ranchers have seen authorities pull migrants out of cargo trains and grain elevators. A number of those migrants came out alive, while others did not survive their trips.

Border Patrol reported finding 64 remains so far in 2021. For perspective, there were only 20 remains discovered in all of 2020. Ranchers’ security cameras have caught migrants entering into people’s homes and stealing cars.

Texas conservatives have used the border collapse in the Del Rio area as a rallying cry for border security. Texas Governor Greg Abbott even called a special session of the Texas State Legislature to take on the issue of border security along with other issues. One of the major planks of this renewed focus on border security was the enhancement of criminal laws and the allocation of funds “from unappropriated available revenues to support law-enforcement agencies, counties, and other strategies as part of Texas’ comprehensive border security plan.”

In July, Abbott passed executive orders that have now given Texas residents the ability to press charges against migrants for trespassing on their property. In addition, these residents can also press charges against individuals who transport the migrants.

Abbott recently deployed several units of state troopers to “Operation Lone Star” to assist the Border Patrol, while also calling on National Guard troops and turning to law enforcement units from other states such as Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio.

In the span of a year, the number of migrants encountered by Border Patrol agents in the area has skyrocketed. In August 2020, Border Patrol agents encountered 25,000 migrants. So far in 2021, Hennessy-Fiske observed that “the agency has encountered more than 149,000 migrants as smugglers pushed west from the Rio Grande Valley as they did during the last surge in 2019.”

The level of outrage towards this border collapse is not just confined to Republicans. For example, the Democrat Mayor of Del Rio Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano has not liked how the Biden administration has handled immigration, which has had nasty spillover effects in his city. 

A few months earlier, when the number of migrants heading towards Del Rio started surging, Lozano called on the Biden administration to assist him. However, the White House gave him the cold shoulder.

When the number of migrants started surging last winter, he called for federal assistance, but said the Biden administration ignored him.

“The administration can’t say I didn’t forewarn them,” Lozano recently declared. “We have an immigration crisis, a surge. They’ve abandoned us.”

In sum, border areas in America are getting pummeled. Texas included. The case of Lozano is interesting. Many Hispanics living in traditionally Democrat-controlled counties pulled the lever for Trump in 2020, largely due to his sane migration policies. 

It’s one thing to talk about pro-mass migration policies from a swanky office in DC or a fancy corporate boardroom. But it’s another to experience it firsthand like many Texans living on the border do.

Texas Republicans would be wise to campaign hard in border counties and make a big stink about illegal immigration. Undoubtedly, this is the best way for the Republican Party to make inroads with Hispanics. Let’s hope Texas Republicans pick up on this.

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