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A few miles from El Paso is Hudspeth County, a sparsely populated ranching community that has faced an unprecedented influx of migrants since October, and with it, an influx of crime and death, residents said. and law enforcement at Fox News.
Two ranchers, as well as a detained illegal immigrant, spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of Mexican cartels, which profit from smuggling migrants across the border.
The Texas community has witnessed several break and enters allegedly committed by illegal immigrants, including a recent one where firearms were stolen, Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West told Fox News in an interview. exclusively from his office in Sierra Blanca, which also houses the county jail.
The city, the largest in the county, is home to about 800 residents and most of the influxing migrants come from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“We’ve had multiple break-ins. Usually they break in, they try to find food, water, things to continue their journey,” West said. “Here recently we had a break-in where they broke into the house and stole a bunch of guns. That’s a big concern.”
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A rancher who spoke only on condition of anonymity showed Fox News four structures on his sprawling property that he said had been entered illegally by migrants. In one case, the rancher said the burglars ransacked the kitchen of an old ranch looking for food. In another case, he told Fox News that migrants broke down the door of a small structure at the back of the property.
West blamed the influx of illegal crossings and crimes on the Biden administration, though he noted the surge began even before he was elected.
“I think the most important thing is the Biden administration. Even before he was elected, we saw this surge,” he said.
Marty Bustamonte, chief of staff for the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office, blamed the push along the border in part on the media.
“The media only shows you a certain perception of what’s really going on,” he told Fox News. “They show, you know, groups of immigrants going to work after surrendering, and basically the story is over. But in reality, some people don’t make it.”
West, who has served as sheriff since 2001, said his department also found a significantly higher number of dead migrants this year.
“In previous years, we picked up three, four, five a year who had the misfortune to cross the desert and not be able to get there,” he said. “Since January, this influx, it’s crazy. I mean, like I said, we’re at 17, 18 deaths this year.”
Another rancher, who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals from Mexican cartels, said he had seen more illegal border crossings along his property since October than he had in the past 20 previous years combined.
Hudspeth County residents aren’t the only ones fearful of cartels.
“Ever since the Mafia brought us in, they’ve been taking pictures of us. And if anything happens, we can’t escape them,” an illegal immigrant trafficked by cartels told Fox News from county jail. He had been arrested after he was caught breaking and entering property in Hudspeth County.
“They are violent. They want to shed blood,” he said. “They are not afraid of anything”
Members of the “squad”, including Rashida Tlaib, have advocated for funding immigration enforcement agencies.
“They’re a bunch of idiots,” West told Fox News when asked for comment. “That’s what’s wrong with this country.”
“I mean, the crime is skyrocketing because of some of the police funding,” he continued. “Look at Chicago, look at your metropolitan areas. Crime has gotten ridiculous. It’s crazy.”
As for how to address the influx of illegal immigrants into Hudspeth County, West said the formula was simple.
“Let’s secure this fucking border,” he said. “Put Border Patrol back at the border, let Border Patrol do its job, let ICE do its job, and make that fucking American lawyer do his job.”