DEMING, N.M. (KRQE) – While some were at church or watching football Sunday morning, a southern New Mexico rancher was dealing with what he calls a security crisis: Border Patrol agents chasing a truckload full of illegal immigrants through his property.
Russell Johnson says this is becoming way too common an occurrence on his ranch along the U.S.-Mexico border. Johnson got a call from Border Patrol agents that a truck crashed through his fence trying to transport illegal immigrants into the United States.
“I immediately loaded up, got some fencing materials, because they did inform me that this vehicle did cross our ranch, and usually when that happens they are crossing through the barbed wire portion,” said Russell.
Border agents chased the truck after it fled from agents, ran over spike strips, and through another fence before driving through the desert and crashing into a wash.
Ten people were crammed into the pickup truck. Several were injured because there were too many people in the truck, and they all could not wear seat belts.
“We all experience these problems because of a lack of an adequate barrier,” said Johnson.
Johnson says five times in the last two months, illegal immigrants have crossed in that exact spot, and 20 times in the last two years.
“With all this illegal traffic coming through, my first concern is always going to be my family. But then secondly, it’s going to be my business. Whenever these fences go down due to a drive-through, that’s potential for my livestock to go into Mexico,” said Russell.
Johnson says of the eight miles of border fence on his property, three miles of it is a basic barbed wire fence that he is responsible for fixing when it is destroyed like this.