Their Citizens Here on the Border / by Karie Luidens

“Surge in border crossings fuels demands for border wall”

Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 11:41pm

ANIMAS – Residents in this remote ranching town in southern New Mexico complain they’ve been forgotten and left out as Washington and Santa Fe debate border issues.

“It’s just kind of a slap in our face, because our government doesn’t want to do anything, doesn’t want to protect their citizens here on the border,” rancher and business owner Tricia Elbrock told the Journal in an interview.

She and other ranchers in New Mexico’s Bootheel say they need a border wall and more security as the region, long a drug smuggling corridor, has also become a hot spot for guides leading large groups of Central American migrants to Antelope Wells.

“We need more boots on the ground, more resources. Build the wall and quit fighting in Washington, D.C.,” Elbrock said. […]

The Border Patrol says drug traffickers are now taking advantage of the recent surge in migration by making smuggling runs at the same time large groups of Central Americans cross the border and turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

Last week, agents seized 265 pounds of marijuana from suspected “drug mules” just west of Antelope Wells the same night a group of Central Americans was taken into custody.

“We’ve had the drug smugglers, we’ve had them coming in for years. But it just seems a lot more pronounced now, and then of course now you have an actual distraction to allow more drugs into this country,” Hidalgo County Manager Tisha Green said.