Home News US ranchers near Mexico weigh in on border wall, shutdown talks

US ranchers near Mexico weigh in on border wall, shutdown talks

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US ranchers near Mexico weigh in on border wall, shutdown talks

NOGALES, Ariz. — Ranchers on the border like Jim Chilton own thousands of acres of land – and they are increasingly concerned about the situation right in their backyard.

Their stories are being heard in Washington as a GOP House delegation made a visit to the Arizona-Mexico border this week. The officials met with Border Patrol agents and visited ranchers like Chilton, and his wife, Sue.

Jim and Sue Chilton have had deer cameras at their border ranch for five years. Sue Chilton said in the past five years, she has not seen women and children crossing the border —it’s been mostly men.

It's the first time in history Border Patrol says congressmen have visited this part of the border--the wall that stops about a mile-and-a-half from the Sasabe, AZ Point of Entry.

It’s the first time in history Border Patrol says congressmen have visited this part of the border–the wall that stops about a mile-and-a-half from the Sasabe, AZ Point of Entry.
(Fox News)

“Our route through us is a drug and human smuggling route…as the cartel is squeezed at the points of entry, they will send more and more of their traffic between the points of entry because that is currently the weak link…no apprehension, no surveillance,” Sue said.

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Some who live along the border say this is why a wall is needed – they see first-hand the issue paralyzing Washington right now.

“What’s the cost of not securing the border? Billions. Think of the drugs coming into this country, the poison,” Chilton said.

For this particular part of the tour, they stopped after that mile-and-a-half—only to see vast, rugged landscape and another fence made of barbed wire, sticks, and rope—with just a slipknot connecting the barbed wire to the steel poles where the wall ended.

For this particular part of the tour, they stopped after that mile-and-a-half—only to see vast, rugged landscape and another fence made of barbed wire, sticks, and rope—with just a slipknot connecting the barbed wire to the steel poles where the wall ended.
(Fox News)

Republican members of Congress toured the border this week and met with Border Patrol agents. They were shown parts of the border that had barbed wire or just a rope holding fences together. Suddenly, the wall ends and it’s just vast, open land.

Border agent Art Del Cueto said 40 percent of the illegal drugs smuggled into the U.S. came through this part of the border.

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“It’s not a problem that affects just the border,” Del Cueto said. “It’s not a problem that affects just the congressional leaders within border states because the drugs that are coming through here are going into the United States further into the country. And it’s a big deal.”

He said smugglers and drug dealers simply go around barriers.

Del Cueto said 40 percent of the illegal drugs smuggled into the US came through this part of the border.

Del Cueto said 40 percent of the illegal drugs smuggled into the US came through this part of the border.
(Fox News)

Del Cueto said the term border wall has become an explosive issue. But to him, it’s exactly what’s needed.

“I think the issue that a lot of people have is they hear the word wall and they stay focused on brick and mortar—we need something because I can tell you right now this ain’t cutting it,” Del Cueto said. “So, this is basically what you have dividing us here.”

U.S. Customs agent Patricia Cramer, who also serves as president of the Arizona chapter of the port of entry employee union, said there are “so many” migrants coming in—that the agency doesn’t have the space and staffing to process them all, which leads to people violating and abusing the immigration system.

A rancher shows the congressmen and their staff a part of his ranch on the border where sticks, steel, and barbed wire seperate his ranch from Mexico.

A rancher shows the congressmen and their staff a part of his ranch on the border where sticks, steel, and barbed wire seperate his ranch from Mexico.
(Fox News)

“There has to be a stop to it,” Cramer said. “I hope that Congress works with the president.”

But Nogales Police Chief Roy Bermudez said while a wall at the border would delay – but not stop – migrants from crossing, the focus of the immigration talks should be adding more agents and buying better technology.

A rancher shows the congressmen and their staff a part of his ranch on the border where sticks, steel, and barbed wire seperate his ranch from Mexico.

A rancher shows the congressmen and their staff a part of his ranch on the border where sticks, steel, and barbed wire seperate his ranch from Mexico.
(Fox News)

Bermudez said in the 34 years he’s been in the city, he’s seen different types of walls and fences that have eventually been damaged.

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“At the end of the day, that’s only a barrier and barriers are going to be jumped, are going to be dug, people are going to go through them,” Bermudez said. “Technology and boots on the ground is what’s going to get the job done. Not really a wall that would just create a barrier that’s going to be jumped.”

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