The Biden administration has faced persistent criticism over its handling of the immigration crisis along the nation’s southern border.
Some Americans have clearly been affected more directly than others. Now, some of those closest to the crisis say they are fed up — and are demanding that President Joe Biden pay up. According to the New York Post, the American Farm Bureau Federation is demanding that its members receive compensation for the damage inflicted by illegal immigration.
“Drugs and firearms”
“Coyotes abandon people, steal vehicles, vandalize property and threaten the safety and livelihoods of farmers and ranchers,” the group wrote in a letter last month.
The letter was addressed to the respective secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, and the Interior. In it, the group argued that criminals “smuggle drugs and firearms into the country, frequently leaving them on farmers’ and ranchers’ property, causing unrest for farm and ranch families.”
According to the letter, border security personnel are already stretched thin, “leaving little help” for the farmers and ranchers who need it most.
“We respectfully request federal authorities work promptly to provide additional resources and enforce legal immigration to secure U.S. borders,” the letter continued.
Continuing its case against the “current situation” on the U.S.-Mexico border, the group wrote: “People are being treated as a disposable source of income, and landowners are living in fear while Coyotes reap a windfall from leaving people destitute.”
“The fever tick”
Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening explained the group’s position in further detail in his remarks to the Post.
“You have that economic issue and then you have just the safety issue — the mental strain — and to a certain extent being afraid for your own safety on your own property when you’re out checking crops, checking livestock, doing things just in your normal course of business.”
One fourth-generation Texas farmer explained that those in his line of work have other border-related concerns in addition to the threat of violence.
“The biggest expense is the fever tick,” said Richard Guerra. “It comes from Mexico because Mexico does not do what the U.S. government does. We have laws, we get restrictions, and then we have to abide by to keep our cattle clean. Well, Mexico doesn’t.”
The White House reportedly agreed to a virtual meeting to discuss the group’s concerns, but as of this writing, there has been no public guarantee of compensation.