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Crossing the Line: South Texas to D.C. — border is not safe
While the nation’s attention focuses on the recent increase in women and children from Central America illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Texas landowners continue to contend with human smugglers of another variety. And the consensus of members of one group representing landowners is: The border is not safe.
“It takes a crisis to make a difference,” said Susan J. Kibbe. Formerly Susan Durham, the executive director of the South Texans’ Property Rights Association, said landowners, ranchers, and farmers living in South Texas have been trying to stress to lawmakers in Washington since the mid-1980s that the Texas border is not safe.
Kibbe stressed the difference between the undocumented children and mothers crossing the border versus other illegals who make the news -- via bailouts on private property.
The children and mothers turn themselves in to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials once in the United States.
But there is another side of the illegal crossings -- human trafficking. Human smugglers, also known as “coyotes,” are located on both sides of the U.S. border. Coyotes drop off illegals south of the border. After their human “shipment” crosses the border, another coyote picks them up to go farther into the United States. These have no intentions of being caught.
Landowners in South Texas deal with the effects -- property damage, trash, and sometimes bodies -- from this traffic. This has occurred even in Wilson and Karnes counties. See “Officials nab 34 illegal aliens,” June 18 Wilson County News.
“The dysfunctional system we have now has put the cartel in charge,” said Kibbe last year. “We have been seeing the consequences on our ranches for years. Now the cartels have extended their tentacles into every community in the United States.”
Kibbe provided data for bailouts and estimated property damage in South Texas since 2009. The numbers are underestimated, she said July 31. For example, 101 bailouts were reported in 2009 in 13 counties. In 2012, this number surged to 1,956, with an estimated $97,521 in damages. So far this year, 862 cases have been reported, and damages are already estimated at $85,235.
The most challenging issue landowners face today with illegals is the fear, lack of safety, and anxiety they live with daily on their own property, where some families have lived for generations.
Employees have been threatened. Some landowners will not speak about the issue, since they are being targeted by the cartels, Kibbe said.
The illegals live among us, and the smugglers are local people who are part of gangs and even work on ranches, Kibbe said.
Kibbe said landowners and agricultural producers must contend with threats made to those who irrigate their crops. Employees of sugar cane growers have been asked to leave. Crops are being damaged by illegals trampling the properties. Farmers are concerned for food safety, especially since the Texas Rio Grande Valley is renowned for its produce and contamination of the crops is possible.
Ranches are damaged by illegals crossing properties, including cut fences, gates left open leading to cattle herds being mingled, and damage to water sources.
Brooks County, home to many hunting leases, is being threatened, with hunting camps being broken into or trashed by illegals.
In transit, some of the people being smuggled die on private property. Kibbe provided the body count in Brooks County, which leads the state in the number of bodies found:
•2012, 129 bodies
•2014, 51 so far.
To help prevent deaths, Help Stations have been set up by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. This includes a 5-gallon water jug and a “beacon” migrants can use to get help. Despite the help stations, 90 percent of the calls for aid come from the migrants’ own cell phones, according to the South Texans’ Property Rights Association.
Landowners have united to ask legislators for immigration reform and protection from liability.
Currently, Kibbe said the South Texans’ Property Rights Association is “asking for more assistance from state and federal law enforcement and asking the congressional delegation to support the bipartisan legislation, the HUMANE Act.
For more information, visit wwwstpra.org.
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Partain for Congress CD15
August 26, 2014 9:45am
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Section A: General News Archives
Attend Health Fair in Seguin July 29 (July 22, 2015)
Crash near county line claims one (July 22, 2015)
ECISD gives raises, keeps tax rate same (July 22, 2015)
Editorial: Choose carefully where to invest your energy (July 22, 2015)
Editorial: Government for Big Money (July 22, 2015)
Editorial: Is the Civil War over? (July 22, 2015)
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Franchise Ownership Workshop July 25 (July 22, 2015)
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Keeping Floresville in style for 25 years (July 22, 2015)
La Vernia area could combine paid, volunteer fire staff (July 22, 2015)
Meeting Watch: Falls City City Council (July 22, 2015)
Meeting Watch: Falls City ISD (July 22, 2015)
Meeting Watch: La Vernia ISD (July 22, 2015)
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Paying ‘stupid tax’ (July 22, 2015)
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Bealls participates in clothing drive (July 15, 2015)
Beautification group to meet (July 15, 2015)
CoDA finds source of anxious behavior (July 15, 2015)
Commissioners grant waiver to Mission Rail Industrial Park (July 15, 2015)
Editorial: Americans’ focus is on anything but serious issues (July 15, 2015)
Editorial: Looking back on my 85 years (July 15, 2015)
Editorial: Surprise! Scientists have ‘cracked code’ to happiness (July 15, 2015)
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Floresville Visitor & Tourist Bureau takes small steps (July 15, 2015)
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La Vernia council terminates city secretary (July 15, 2015)
Letter: Let’s get involved (July 15, 2015)
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Meet DPS Sgt. John Henke (July 15, 2015)
Meeting Watch: La Vernia City Council (July 15, 2015)
No lease: Floresville 4A Corp. applies for beer license (July 15, 2015)
No quorum for Poth EDC (July 15, 2015)
Otto Kaiser plans health fair, low-cost physicals (July 15, 2015)
Police blotter (July 15, 2015)
Questions remain after reported attack (July 15, 2015)
Reputed dope dealer takes plea (July 15, 2015)
Saenz interns with Cuellar (July 15, 2015)
STEER calls for award nominations (July 15, 2015)
Stockdale News: Giving Jubilee kudos (July 15, 2015)
Stockdale News: Leos to hold yard sale (July 15, 2015)
Stockdale News: Library fun continues (July 15, 2015)
Stockdale News: Mitchell places in top 10 of national rifle competition (July 15, 2015)
Stockdale to receive $311K in grant, earnings distribution (July 15, 2015)
Texas A&M to pair with two-year colleges (July 15, 2015)
Unauthorized subletting (July 15, 2015)
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World Heritage Site designation piques curiosity in ranch (July 15, 2015)
ADCaP, UIW online fall information session is July 9 (July 8, 2015)
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Chief appraiser’s opening draws four applications (July 8, 2015)
Connally donates to Floresville Food Pantry (July 8, 2015)
Court Update (July 8, 2015)
Dangers of leaving children in vehicles during summer (July 8, 2015)
Deel named top 10 advisor, inducted into Hall of Fame (July 8, 2015)
Does the YMCA have a future in Wilson County? (July 8, 2015)
Editorial: Guns in church can work (July 8, 2015)
Editorial: U.S. Supreme Court disasters (July 8, 2015)
Evergreen states opposition to Cibolo, Schertz water plan (July 8, 2015)
Floresville Economic Development Corp. (July 8, 2015)
Floresville Planning & Zoning Commission (July 8, 2015)
Floresville police hunt suspects, arrest two (July 8, 2015)
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Letter: A third letter to America (July 8, 2015)
Letter: Hoping to find the cowardly culprit (July 8, 2015)
Letter: No press coverage, no tickets (July 8, 2015)
Meeting Watch: Poth ISD (July 8, 2015)
Museum seeks lumber, pictures (July 8, 2015)
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Nonprofits encouraged to partake in Newcomers Fair (July 8, 2015)
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Police Blotter (July 8, 2015)
Poth cancels another city council meeting (July 8, 2015)
Poth, Stockdale could get Connally Memorial clinics (July 8, 2015)
Rancho de las Cabras achieves World status (July 8, 2015)
Shooting range drives citizens to City Hall (July 8, 2015)
SSCA to meet (July 8, 2015)
St. Hedwig City Council backs off fire-code variance (July 8, 2015)
Texas sues EPA (July 8, 2015)
Trustees approve $9.55 million budget (July 8, 2015)
Yoga Center marks one year (July 8, 2015)
Corner Store grand opening is set for July 2 (July 1, 2015)
Court Update (July 1, 2015)
Crouch Memorial Bull Riding (July 1, 2015)
Dan Patrick weighs in on same-sex marriage decision (July 1, 2015)
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Editorial: Changing the past to fundamentally transform America (July 1, 2015)
Editorial: Donald Trump tries to put his brand on GOP (July 1, 2015)
Editorial: Hillary and history: Best-known is not the same as best-qualified (July 1, 2015)
Event highlights seniors, vets, services July 17 (July 1, 2015)
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Floresville ISD adopts $39M budget (July 1, 2015)
Floresville keeps city manager, 'extravaganza' (July 1, 2015)
Free July training for business owners (July 1, 2015)
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H-E-B recalls burger buns (July 1, 2015)
La Vernia approves $26M-plus budget (July 1, 2015)
Letter: Frightened aging bones (July 1, 2015)
Meeting Watch: Falls City City Council (July 1, 2015)
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