Arizona border rancher sees wall reduce, but not stop, illegal crossings…(4…)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
By Paul Martin

More than 100 years ranching on the border

By: Craig Smith
May 20, 2019

BISBEE, Ariz. – For rancher John Ladd, humanitarian arguments for immigration fall away in the face of deaths he’s seen because smugglers didn’t prepare the people they smuggle for the extreme heat or cold they often face.

“We’ve had 14 dead people on the ranch in the last 30 years. That’s pretty much a game changer for you to find a dead body on your ranch.”

He watches border issues play out on the land his family has ranched for 123 years and sees the border as less about immigration and more about smuggling, money and power.

His ranch touches more than 10 miles of the border. That border has gone from a few strands of barbed wire to fence that ranges from ten to eighteen feet tall. The tallest section went in late in the Obama administration with money Ladd says was set aside under President Bush.

“This is helping but the benefit we’ve had is since Donald Trump’s been President is his rhetoric diverted them. They’re still coming around us but his opinion of the southern border and securing it has made the biggest impact we’ve ever had.”

But he says there’s still enough trouble to disrupt his cattle business with cut fences and broken water lines even if the numbers are down.

Ladd says, ‘In the mid 90’s they were catching two to three hundred a day, now it’s 40 to 50 a week.”

From the border, it’s about three miles overland across the Ladd family ranch to a mile marker on Highway 92 where people who just crossed that ranch may pick up a cell phone and summon a driver.

The Rest…HERE

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