Border residents deal with immigration “challenge”  Far West Texas officials offer no solutions

Judge Eleazar Cano, Sheriff Ronny Dodson, and Emergency Management Coordinator Stephanie Elmore represented Brewster County at a meeting of citizens concerned about the border crisis in Far West Texas. 




The hottest topic in the news recently has been the flood of illegal immigrants entering the U.S., creating what the Biden Administration calls a “border challenge.”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol statistics, more than 100,000 attempted entry along the Southwest border during February, a 28% increase over January. More than 800,000 are predicted to enter the U.S. illegally this year.

Long time Jeff Davis County rancher Shelly Means and others close to the border in Jeff Davis, Presidio, Culberson, Brewster and other counties in Far West Texas came together as a group to address the issue.

On March 7, they sent a letter to Gary Peters, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The letter read, in part, “This group of concerned Far West Texans that are living life on the border, either living on ranches or in small border towns, are having to deal with multitudes of illegal aliens that have threatened our way of life....We would like to make you aware of some of the daily situations that cause danger to the families, to the lands they live and ranch on, and to their homes and communities, and for the danger the immigrants endure while trying to enter the United States.”

The letter goes on to list more than a dozen hardships the signators had endured, including finding dead bodies; fires started that caused danger to livestock and wild game; homes broken into and thefts occurring; cars, trucks, and horses stolen; and living in constant fear.

Then on March 10 a large group gathered at the Medley Ranch in Jeff Davis County to hear from the Border Patrol, elected officials from the border counties, and staffers for U.S. Rep., Dist. 23, Tony Gonzales and Texas Senator, Dist. 29, Cesar Blanco.

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West told the group the situation was getting worse, saying “There are droves of illegals coming through. Leaving politics aside, we started seeing this trend back in September, and it just kept getting bigger. It leads me to believe that foreigners knew who was going to win the election in November before anyone even voted.”

Various officials urged citizens to call 911 in emergency situations, contact their offices with concerns, and follow sheriff’s office and Border Patrol Facebook and other social media pages for up-to-date information and to have their voices heard.

Border Patrol Big Bend Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean McGoffin stressed, “At the end of the day, we work for the Executive Branch, and we have to follow the laws and procedures that are set out for us. We’re going to execute those procedures to the best of our ability.”

Speaking of the meeting, Means later told the Avalanche, “We really didn’t get any satisfactory responses from anyone. We were told who to contact to get started, but unless the President issues an executive order to send troops down here to protect our border, we’re still paddling in the same pond. In Washington they have no idea what we’re going through. People 30 miles north of the border don’t have any idea what’s going on here.”

To view the letter in its entirety or to sign the letter, visit

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