Friday, February 08, 2019

New Mexico rancher shares experience along the U.S.-Mexico border

COLUMBUS, NM — Twenty miles west of Columbus lives a cattle rancher who says he has had his fair share of encounters with crossing immigrants on his property, which sits on the United States-Mexico border. Russell Johnson, 31, says he is for a border wall — or at least a pedestrian barrier — due to experiences with trespassing immigrants throughout the years. "It has always been a problem, but when we really started seeing the uptick with this kind of activity was 2005 and 2006," he said. Johnson said he has dealt with break-ins, litter, theft and property damage. "We've had people break into our buildings. Fortunately, nobody has broken into our house, but other family members have had their houses broken into down here in the border. "We have had a lot of cattle theft issues in the past because a portion of our borders is still barbed wire fence so, we've had some people come across and steal some of our cattle." "We've had vehicles stolen. We've had instances where if they get lost or if the smuggler figures if that person cant keep up, and they get dropped out of the group, they'll set fire to pasture grass to try to signal for help. "They've cut through fencing that divide our pastures. They've torn up our floats and our water towers that we have for our cattle and have drained our water systems." Johnson has three types of barriers that run along the edges of his property: motor vehicle post barriers with barbed wire, "Normandy-style" barriers and barbed wire fences. Post and Normandy-style barriers are more of a deterrent; those crossing go around and manipulate his barbed wire fencing to make their way through into the U.S...MORE

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