EL PASO, Texas — Farmers from El Paso’s Lower Valley shared their concerns about the influx of migrants along the southern border with Texas Congressman Tony Gonzales (R-District 23) and a Republican congressional delegation on Friday.
Farmers said encounters on their property have increased significantly over the last five to six months.
The farmers who met with the delegation expressed concern about the lack of control over who’s coming across the border, and how migrant children are being brought over in significant numbers.
“It's distressing at times, because you feel badly for your fellow man and some of these people are coming over, they haven't had food or water in several days,” said a farmer named Shannon, who didn't provide his full name. “They're facing very adverse conditions, particularly as we get into summer, as things get hotter.”
Gonzales, whose district includes far east El Paso County, said the visit gave him and the delegation the opportunity to hear from the farmers whose voices “have been forgotten in this.”
Joining him was Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-New York), Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) and Rep David Valado (R-Calif.).
The visit from the delegation comes after five migrant girls under the age of seven were recently found outside a farm in Quemado, which is 150 miles west of San Antonio.
“This isn't a new issue,” Gonzales said “(The farmers have) seen it for generations, (and they) get an opportunity to talk to folks that can make a difference.”
The delegation also visited an unaccompanied minor facility, the U.S. Border Patrol processing center, and one of the local ports of entry.