By Jon Dougherty
Depending on who you talk to, folks along the border have various opinions about whether POTUS Donald Trump’s emergency declaration is or isn’t appropriate. But some of the most compelling testimony in favor of the declaration has come from border residents themselves and, in particular, Americans who make their living along the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
One of them is rancher Kari Wade, who owns a ranch with her family just 50 miles from the border in Texas. In a response on Facebook that’s gone viral, Wade responded to one person who asked, “Where’s the fire?” in terms of questioning the president’s claim the situation has grown urgent.
“Let me tell you where the fire is: The ‘fire’ is finding dead bodies on your ranch,” she wrote, according to The Western Journal.
“The ‘fire’ is having to come home after dark and have to carry a rifle to go feed your livestock after BP [Border Patrol] tells you that they only caught 9 of the 15 they are looking for,” she added.
In an interview with Western Journal, Wade said her strong “reaction” to the Facebook comment was written out of a feeling of frustration and aggravation as a parent, landowner and United States tax-paying citizen.”
“My husband and I generally keep pretty quiet about what happens on our ranch because until recently, dealing with illegal immigration and drug smuggling was just ‘part of the territory,’” she said.
Wade went on to add, however, that there comes a point when one has to say “enough is enough.”
“I have received messages from people all over the United States saying they support and pray for our family and everyone here on the border including the illegal immigrants who are coming over,” she said, noting that responses to her post have generally been positive:
When asked if she agrees with Trump that there’s a crisis on the border, Wade said, “Absolutely.”
She told The Western Journal, “Over the past 3 months there has been a huge difference in the amount of activity we have seen on our ranch compared to last year at this time. We have always had illegal immigration and drug smuggling, but lately, it seems like it has increased and according to CBP statistics it has increased by a tremendous amount.”
“If you look up the definition of crisis it states: a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. It also states: a time when a difficult or important decision must be made,” Wade added.
Wade recounted one example of when U.S. citizen was denied medical care from a clinic because the clinic “had to tend to a large group of illegals coming through who requested medical assistance.”
Not everyone agrees, of course.
In the Rio Grande Valley, residents and ranchers are seeing signs of new imminent border wall construction, Zero Hedge notes, adding that “wooded areas [are] being cleared, and residents [are] receiving letters from the government asking to survey their property and possibly seize it through eminent domain.”
Gary Jacobs, a former chief executive officer of Laredo National Bank, in an in-depth conversation with Bloomberg about President Trump’s border wall, said its construction could trigger a massive backlash from Texan landowners.
“The way the eminent domain laws are written, we have no rights,” warns Jacobs. “That’s the issue. It’s not what they’re going to build. It’s how they’re taking the land.”
But then, eminent domain laws are as old as the nation itself. And it’s hard to imagine that Texans would support any Democratic presidential nominee at this point, even if there are some unhappy ranchers.
That said, Wade notes, “We have a different perspective than most people. People who think this is a ‘made-up’ crisis, have not had to come home at night and see the CBP trucks parked with their cameras and night vision spotting scopes pointed towards the mountains a quarter-mile behind your house.
“Our ranch is not getting the influx of large groups of people like the border ranchers and farmers do. They have a whole other set of issues. Usually, by the time they get to our area, it is not people who are seeking asylum. They are usually in small groups smuggling drugs or people,” she added.
And she has a solution of sorts, in addition to a new physical barrier.
“My vote is to bring our military to train along our border, it will make (cartels) think twice before crossing illegally.”
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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