Many residents of border towns like Eagle Pass, Texas, are Mexican or have Mexican relatives. They express sympathy for asylum seekers, but caution that the current rate of illegal immigration is unsustainable.
Because of border anxieties, several Texas ranchers are having difficulty finding labor. Title 42, a Trump-era COVID-19 border regulation, is being challenged in federal court, but it might be over in two weeks.
Mike Hayes’ Double M ranch is less than a mile from the border between the United States and Mexico.
“We run Angus cattle here, and we got racehorses,” Hayes explained. “We sell hunts here like deer hunting, duck hunting and things like that, so it all generates the revenue that keeps it going.”
According to Hayes, migrants have attached garments to ranch fences to make crossing less uncomfortable. Fabric remnants remained on the tops of his fence. The influx of migrants from Mexico is beginning to damage his business.
“They come through, and they cut our fences, and they leave trash everywhere. The livestock gets out on the road and might be hit by cars and things like that.”
He, like the rest of the country, is experiencing a labor shortage, but for a different reason.
Hayes said he’s tried websites to recruit ranch staff, but even folks from Eagle Pass are unwilling to travel to his ranch. He has horse trainers from different states who came to assist him train his horses last summer but will not return this year. Hayes even claimed to have employed a private security crew to keep an eye out for intruders.
People in Eagle Pass have been worried, according to Maverick County Constable Albert De La Torre.
Republicans aren’t the only ones concerned about the termination of Title 42. The community has been anxious, according to Eagle Pass Mayor Pro-Tem Yolanda Ramon, a Democrat.
De La Torre said that they’re also dealing with stash houses in Eagle Pass, where human traffickers hold illegal immigrants until it’s safe to convey them to other cities via buses.