We’ve been praying for rain and many of us received it to the point that “our cup runneth over”! There was a lot of damage and hardship in the urban areas. However, landowners won’t usually complain about too much rain, even the ones that experienced some negative effects, because we just never know when it’s going to happen again.
I’d like to thank Dottie Irwin, a member from Cameron County, for inviting Sarah, Nicole and me to tour her property on the Rio Grande River outside of Brownsville this past Wednesday, June 27th. A levee wall was built through Dottie’s and her brother’s property, known as The Nye Plantation, beginning in 2008 and was completed in 2012.
In the beginning Dottie was seriously opposed to the levee wall being built on their property, but has since come to appreciate it and realizes and accepts its necessity. That portion of the levee wall has been credited for redirecting a good portion of the illegal immigration in that area to certain predictable areas where it aids in securing apprehensions.
Dottie also asked if we would attend the Ft. Brown Border Patrol monthly get-together the same evening and share the STPRA accomplishments, as it pertains to border security, with landowner attendees who live along the river.
The Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Chief, Manuel Padilla, was also invited to speak at the partnership meeting and gave a report on the marked increase of illegal immigration in the McAllen area and the factors over the past four year period that have influenced the rise and decline of the numbers. The stats show that the catch and release policy causes the increase of numbers and deporting illegal immigrants and not releasing family units causes a decline in illegal traffic. Only 15% of asylum seekers in the area have qualified claiming credible fear. Poverty is not a qualification.
Chief Padilla commented on the loopholes that give rise to the illegal immigration that has enabled criminal organizations to grossly profit from their innocent victims and that has created a firestorm in the press because of the child/family separation, which was recently ended. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) attracts illegal crossing by Unaccompanied Children (UACs) and the asylum laws are being exploited by credible fear claims that result in catch and release.
The TVPRA is a law that was passed in 2008 that strengthened federal trafficking laws and added provisions that govern the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children who enter the United States. The proposed change is to treat children from noncontiguous countries the same as Mexicans and Canadians.
The day after the meeting, in a 24 hour period, Border Patrol detained 340 people in the RGV Sector who had crossed the border illegally and who were part of a family unit claiming credible fear. The Cartel responsible for crossing that group made approximately $1,700,000 (yes that’s 1.7 million). The going rate for family units is $5,000 an individual. For others the average is $9,000. The Cartels are the big winners in this mass chaos. Unfortunately, the public doesn’t hear about these facts from most media outlets and from many politicians.
Earlier in the month, I attended an Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP) meeting that was organized by Congressman Henry Cuellar’s office. The ELAP program specifically addressed losses resulting from the additional cost associated with gathering livestock for treatment related to cattle tick fever.
As a follow up from last month’s Landline Report, STPRA directors Berdon Lawrence and Whit Jones and member David Kelly and I met with experts from the FirstNet/AT&T program at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) regional office in Weslaco. The program was devised to ensure that first responders have a designated communication system for emergency situations. Landowners and the general public will be recipients of the program’s infrastructure and connectivity. DPS is overseer of the program for the State of Texas.
We were informed that the Border Patrol Checkpoint counties have not been overlooked and that FirstNet/AT&T is working to secure sites that will greatly improve communications in rural areas.
We continue to plan for the Oct. 11th Annual Meeting and Fundraiser. Please contact Sarah, Nicole or me if you have a silent or live auction item to donate for the event. Help us to continue to make a difference. We appreciate you!
Until next month,
Susan J. Kibbe
Office (361) 348-3020