Border rancher laments she picked ‘wrong place to raise a family’ as migrant crossings go unchecked

A New Mexico rancher and mother of two detailed her routine encounters with suspected smugglers illegally crossing the border for the cartels: “I shouldn’t be scared for my life out here.”

(Video: Fox News Digital)

With the sight of thousands streaming across the border in high-traffic areas like El Paso and Eagle Pass, Texas, and overcrowded shelters in cities like New York and Chicago, the plight of individual families has oft gone overlooked. Joining Fox News Digital, Amanda Adame of Deming, New Mexico spoke to the ever-present danger that her family faces on their fourth-generation ranch.

“I think it’s just a safety issue, mainly, that’s out here. We picked the wrong place to raise a family. We don’t have big groups of people coming across. We don’t have the 50, 60, 80 people. We have the 10, we have the four, we have the cartel,” she explained.

“Living out here, you go armed everywhere you walk. You make sure that…your kids don’t walk off and go play where you can’t see ’em, just in case,” Adame went on. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

With her ranch eight miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, she explained how border crossers make their way onto her property, occasionally even coming to her house to ask for water. Their behavior when she has mentioned calling government agencies was just one of the factors that led her to conclude they aren’t mere asylum seekers.

“The guys who are coming through my area are the ones that have already been a criminal, and they’re the ones that don’t want to get caught. When they come to my house and get water, I ask them if I need to call the immigration for them and they get frantic and panic. ‘No don’t call them. Don’t call them, we’ll leave,'” she told Fox News Digital.

Adame asserted, “They’re the ones that are hauling the drugs.”

The rancher noted in the past, it was easier to identify the smugglers, typically decked out in camouflage, as they would be carrying large packs filled with substances like marijuana. Now, with high-value quantities of drugs like fentanyl readily concealed in smaller pouches, there are fewer tells.

“They are taking advantage of the system that’s in play right now, and they are running with it,” the mother lamented, even recounting an experience in 2013 where she had come across a group of men armed with rifles. “They’re trying to make their money. We’re trying to just live our life, and we don’t want any part of it.”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), between Oct. 2022 and May 2023, over 19,000 pounds of fentanyl had been seized at the southern border, an increase of 169 percent from the prior year. Making matters worse, despite the administration’s reporting on a decrease in encounters since the end of Title 42, there have been repeated instances of federal agents seen countering state governments’ efforts to defend against illegal entry.

At the beginning of July, video captured a CBP agent cutting through razor wire in Eagle Pass allowing illegal entry via a boot that crossed the river. That wire had been placed by the state of Texas and Fox News Bill Melugin had said, “TXDPS tells me the location this video was shot at is private property, and that they have permission from the owner to lay down razor wire and arrest migrants for criminal trespassing. This Border Patrol agent is likely just doing what he’s been told — but this will likely lead to more friction between TX & the Feds, who have drastically different approaches at the border.”

“I shouldn’t be scared for my life out here. I shouldn’t have to be worried about what my kids do outside,” Adame said and added of criminal elements, “Will they know when I call the Border Patrol? Will they know since they now know where I live?”

“My ranch is a population of four….My nearest neighbor is six miles away,” she told Fox News Digital. “The only thing I should be scared of are snakes and spiders. Honestly, I shouldn’t have to worry about what my kids do outside.”


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