UVALDE, Texas – Like the rest of the southern border, the U.S. Border Patrol Del Rio Sector is also seeing an increase of migrants crossing the border. Some Uvalde residents are voicing concerns and say migrants have caused property damage.
John Sewell, a manager of a ranch near Uvalde, said migrants are repeatedly causing property damage and wants something to be done about the issue.
“I’ve had to put these poles up in the last week or so, but you can see up here on the top of the fence where they’ve been climbing over and just pulling it down here and down there,” Sewell said, describing his method to deter more damage. “That’s just very common, and I’m 40-plus miles from the border. Think about the guys that are on the border,” Sewell said.
Sewell manages a 17,000-acre ranch near Uvalde and says he’s been seeing more migrants on the property these days.
“I have some encounter with either the Border Patrol or illegal traffic at least four times a week, if not 10 times a week,” Sewell said.
“It’s not that we’re against these people coming over or whatever, but there’s a right way to do it, and it needs to be done, and the border needs to be shut down,” said Don McLaughlin, mayor of Uvalde.
In the last fiscal year, which ended in February, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended 6,438 families and 2,410 unaccompanied children. The previous year, they apprehended 4,231 families and 1,002 unaccompanied children, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
McLaughlin said human smuggling cases resulting in car chases are a big problem in this area.
“We’re seeing an influx of car chases in the city and in the county,” McLaughlin said.
Some residents in the area say they are worried about their safety.
“It was more controlled last year, and now we have this border thing out of control, and, you know, it puts us all in danger,” said Joe Benavides, a Uvalde resident.
“I am concerned, yeah, because we don’t know what could happen, you know? There’s always a lot of kids everywhere,” said Darlene Reyes, a Uvalde resident.