‘I Shouldn’t Be Scared for My Life out Here’: Rancher Talks Open Borders Horrors
“I mean, what do you do living out here? You go armed everywhere you walk. You make sure that [your kids] don’t walk off and go play where you can’t see them, just in case. You never know what’s going to happen. … We picked the wrong place to raise a family.”
For Amanda Adame, the immigration crisis is personal. Like a lot of ranchers, she’s been dealing with the fallout from President Biden’s open borders policy for the last two years. She’s witnessed the inhumanity of it for the migrants, but also, she points out, for the Americans trying to make a living — and stay safe — along the U.S.-Mexico line. The people crossing along her fourth-generation property in New Mexico are the ones “who are not wanting to get caught.”
Adame talks about living alone with her children during long stretches and the terrifying encounters she’s had with men hiding on her property. At one point, checking the water supply with her eight-month-old, she saw something in the distance. It was a group of men in camouflage. “I stopped and I got my binoculars out to see what it was. And every single one of them had a rifle on their back.” Because she had her baby with her, she turned around quickly to leave and three men jumped out in the road in front of her. They tell her not to call border patrol.
It’s a catch-22, she explained. “These guys are not the element we want in the United States.” But also, there’s a deep fear that if she calls, they know where she lives. When they’re released (as tens of thousands have been), they know where she lives. “My nearest neighbor is six miles away. I shouldn’t be scared for my life out here. … I shouldn’t have to be worried about what my kids do outside.”
But unfortunately, that’s the reality for thousands of Americans in border towns. They’re dealing with the cartel, with criminals hauling drugs across their property, with abandoned women, with destruction across their land. Adame talked about a girl that had been left on the rocky knoll of her property. Crouched underneath a bush, “her feet were almost eaten — gone — because she had lost her shoes, and the coyote that was trafficking her made her walk. … She was there two days before I found her. She couldn’t walk.”
And yet, the Biden administration crowed that illegal immigration is down 90%. “It’s a slap in the face to those of us that live down here, because we know that’s not true because we live it every single day,” Laredo’s Stephanie Canales told Fox News. “You know, this has taken a huge financial toll on — not just us — but all of our neighbors, all of us along the border. … And, you know, we are sympathetic to some of those that are coming over here because they say they’re being oppressed or they can’t feed their families in whatever country they’re from. But, you know, there’s a lot of American citizens that also can’t feed their families right now. And I feel like the federal government doesn’t care.”
Worse, House Republicans say, they could have done something and didn’t. According to the GOP’s Homeland Security Committee report, the current crisis is a disaster that could have been avoided. Asked whether he agreed with that assessment, Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) told “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice, “I absolutely do.”
“I started talking about this very soon after Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas was confirmed by the Senate, and he started making statements [like], ‘Just allow my plan to work itself out. I do have a plan.’” The problem is, no one knew what that plan was, the Montana congressman pointed out.
“We could already see an increasing amount of illegal immigration taking place. And I spoke very publicly and very vocally that his plan is to allow as many illegals to enter into our country as possible. It is to facilitate the illegal immigration of people into our country. And we’ve seen not only five million illegal immigrants come across the line that have had encounters with different types of law enforcement, whether that was Border Patrol or others, but we’ve seen about a million and a half come in that haven’t had any encounters with legal authorities — which is even scarier.”
After all, Rosendale explained, these are “hardened criminals.” And the Biden administration realizes it. “That is why I’m really pleased to see this report has come out and confirmed what basically we knew and that is that that Secretary Mayorkas, this isn’t out of negligence. This is out of malice. He is intentionally violat[ing] the laws that are on the books now and has incentivized additional illegal immigration to take place.”
Why, asked Hice? What could they possibly be trying to do?
“Intent is always a really difficult thing to prove and to understand,” Rosendale acknowledged. “There’s the argument that they’re trying to get a bunch of additional voters through the different states that will allow illegals to obtain driver’s license, which then leads them down to a path where [it’s easier] to register to vote even though they are illegals. There [are] already some cities that allow illegals to vote. And so you’ve got that argument.”
There’s also the other argument, Rosendale went on, “that is just as valid, [which suggests] the Democratic Party is trying to create a permanent underclass that is dependent upon the government.” He explained that things have changed since the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, when people were immigrating to the U.S. and had to have a sponsor and weren’t eligible to receive any of the benefits. “They had to support themselves or have someone who was willing to support them until they could work. That has gone away. We’re spending about $150 billion a year on illegal immigrants. And this is a major problem. But if they are dependent upon the government, then they are going to be more likely … to vote for the Democrats. So at the end of the day, it’s to support the Democratic Party.”
In the meantime, Adame points out, real, patriotic, taxpaying Americans are suffering. “I feel like we are just collateral damage,” she lamented.
And instead of helping local leaders stem the tide, the Biden administration wastes its time fighting them, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) argues. Despite the fact that Texas’s policies have resulted in the seizure of 422 million lethal doses of fentanyl, 394,000 migrant apprehensions, and more than 31,000 criminal arrests, Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim and U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza sent a missive to Abbott late last week informing him “that the United States intends to file [a] legal action in relation to the State of Texas’s unlawful construction of a floating barrier in the Rio Grande River.” If Texas fails to “expeditiously remove” the structure by 2:00 p.m. “the United States intends to file legal action.”
“Texas has the sovereign authority to defend our border, under the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution,” the governor tweeted on Friday. “… We will see you in court, Mr. President.”
For now, ranchers like Adame can take comfort in the fact that this White House may be indifferent, but the American people are not. Almost three-quarters of the country call the border situation a “crisis” or “major problem,” according to Gallup. Only 5% of people feel as the president does, that being overrun by migrants is “not a problem.”
“It’s our administration,” Adame warns. “I’m not against immigration, but I’m against people not coming and doing it the right way. There’s got to be something that we can do.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.