Texas rancher details safety concerns, property damage due to migrant surge
Brent Smith, a Texas rancher and Kinney County attorney, says landowners have been responsible for covering the costs of damage caused by illegal immigrants, noting he sustained $60,000 worth of property damage.
Brent Smith, a Texas rancher and Kinney County attorney, told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that his county is at the epicenter of a migrant “invasion” and noted that he sustained $60,000 worth of damage on his property due to illegal immigrants.
He noted that in his county, fences have had to be repaired and some ranchers in the area have had to hire private security “to defend their own property rights.”
“Us Americans, in this part of Texas, we don’t have the same rights as other people do,” Smith told host Steve Doocy. “We can’t enjoy our property and go in our backyards anymore at night. It’s a tragedy.”
Smith added that people living in his county “don’t even feel safe during the day.”
“If you don’t have a gun with you, you’re taking a chance,” he said. “And it’s sad that that’s the reality we live in today.”
Smith slammed President Biden’s immigration policies on Monday, blaming the president’s actions on the surge in costs and safety concerns ranchers in the area now face.
He told Doocy on Monday that landowners have been responsible for coverings the costs of the damage.
He noted that insurance companies have not been reimbursing landowners if an illegal immigrant drives a stolen vehicle through their properties.
“If it’s a stolen vehicle that goes through the property their vehicle insurance isn’t going to pay for it and ours won’t either so the landowners are stuck with paying for this,” Smith said.
He added that ranchers are liable to cover the cost when livestock escape due to damaged fences and get hit by cars.
However, some relief may be on the way. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to reimburse farmers and ranchers on the frontlines of the border crisis for the vandalism and damage they are enduring.
The legislation would reprogram $300 million from unused coronavirus rescue funds and to pay farmers for damages from illegal immigration, including livestock loss, crop loss and damage, perimeter fence replacements, damages to physical structures and property loss.
“We don’t need any new laws,” Smith said. “We just need a president that actually enforces the laws on the books.”
“It’s a sad day in American history where we have to force our president to act and enforce the laws on the books,” he continued.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.
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