The American Farm Bureau Federation joined all 50 state Farm Bureaus and Puerto Rico Farm Bureau in sending a letter today urging the Biden administration to address the surge of undocumented immigrants entering the United States. The increase in illegal immigration is severely impacting farm and ranch families, putting property and personal safety at risk. The letter was sent to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
“We have been listening to the concerns of our members and hearing how their livelihoods are being affected by the surge on the border,” the letter states. “They (farmers) shared how their crops and property are being damaged, which in turn has caused financial hardship. For example, these landowners are experiencing cut fences, destroyed crops, compromised water sources, vandalism, litter on their property and more. Most importantly, the security and safety of these families are at stake given the current circumstances.”
The letter points out that local and state border security resources have been exhausted, leaving little help for farmers and ranchers. It highlights the problem of human smugglers, known as Coyotes, explaining that landowners live in fear while Coyotes reap a windfall from leaving people destitute.
“Human smugglers (Coyotes) are making false promises and doing whatever it takes to get paid and get away, including jeopardizing lives and property,” the letter continues. “In their desperation to evade law enforcement, Coyotes abandon people, steal vehicles, vandalize property and threaten the safety and livelihoods of farmers and ranchers. They are often criminals who smuggle drugs and firearms into the country, frequently leaving them on farmers’ and ranchers’ property, causing unrest for farm and ranch families.”
The letter asks the federal government to provide additional resources to secure the U.S. border.
Read the full letter.