As Americans recover from Independence Day celebrations, more and more would-be immigrants are dying on their quest to cross the Mexican-US border.
Now a Texan rancher has set up border water stations to help migrants survive the dangerous journey.
Lavoyger Durham tells NBC News that finding two bodies on his property last week lead him to open the water stations.
“I try to save their lives,” Durham said. “I’ve got compassion. I’ve got pity.”
Durham’s 13,000 acre property is located about 30 miles from a drop-off point for immigrants along the Mexican border. In total, the rancher has found seven dead bodies on his El Tule ranch since 2011. It’s estimated that most of migrants died of heat exhaustion, dehydration and exposure.
As Newsmax explains, water stations along the border are common in Arizona.
“Many in southern Texas are now looking to its model in an effort to reduce the number of deaths they see in their counties. Until the state and federal governments figure out a more permanent solution, they say there’s no other option.”
Not all local ranchers are taking this approach. Mike Vickers told NBC, “the only way I would allow them to put those jugs on my property is if Border Patrol were going to be allowed to put a camera on that water source and be able to intercept these people that are utilizing them”.
As the Inquisitr reported earlier this week, some Texans are even assembling militias to patrol the border and keep the migrants out.
An influx of undocumented migrants has caused a crisis along the Mexican-U.S. border. Many blame the large volume of Central American migrants on a misunderstanding of immigration rules.
“Migrants have sent word back home they received a “permit” to remain at least temporarily in the United States, feeding rumors along migrant routes and spurring others to embark on the long journey.”
So far this year, 150,000 Central American migrants have crossed the American border illegally. According to the Seattle Times, 52,000 of those migrants were children traveling alone. Two-thirds of the border crossings happen in the Rio Grande area, said U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials.
American authorities have been struggling to deal with the growing humanitarian situation. On Tuesday, President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the wave of migrants. According to the New York Times, this money would be spent on:
- more staffing hours for border patrol agents
- hiring more immigration judges
- increasing aerial surveillance,
- building new detention facilities, and
- improving care for children during the deportation process.
The emergency funding plan does not address water stations at the border.
[Image source: NBC]