“We’re starting to see more intentional damage,” Sheriff Coe said “I’ve never seen it quite like this. Somebody’s making a statement.”
“We’ve always had a fence cut here, fence cut there, because they’re hauling dope or small kids or something,” he said. “But we’ve never seen the intentional big four-by-four holes in the fence, or now, a 10-foot section just cut completely out. That’s really starting to bother me.”
The cost of replacing a mile of fencing can be up to $30,000, several ranchers said.
“It’s all just out of spite, I think,” Coe said.
In May, Border Patrol detected 51,000 illegal immigrants that slipped past them along the U.S–Mexico border. In the same month, apprehensions hit a 21-year monthly high, with the agency arresting 180,034 illegal border-crossers.
A resident told Nolasco that he had to hold an illegal alien at gunpoint, but the man still wasn’t backing down.
“And [the resident] finally had to cock the hammer back and say, ‘Hey, you take a step further, then things are gonna change here,’” Nolasco said. “That’s the last thing I want to hear—that we have a shooting, [that] we have somebody that had to kill somebody … I hope it never happens.”
Nolasco said stolen vehicles, criminal mischief, and burglaries have all ticked up in conjunction with the influx of illegal aliens this year.
“It’s a mess. That’s what it is. But nobody seems to care about us down here. We’re 60, 65 miles away from the border. And they say that everything’s OK. No, it’s not OK,” he said.
“Most of the [vehicle] stops, they’re finding weapons in the vehicles, so that’s nuts.”
Coe said in the past, illegal immigrants crossing through his county would be respectful and largely stay away from homes and property, unless they really needed help.
“These people now, they’re demanding, ‘You will feed me, you will give me water,’” he said.
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