Texas Farmers and Ranchers To Be Reimbursed By Biden Administration For Property Damaged Cause By Illegal Immigrants

Over a million illegal aliens crossed the US-Mexico border in Texas last year

The federal government will cover the cost of property repair caused to farms and ranches in Texas by clandestine crossing and other illegal activities along the Mexican border.

Agricultural landowners in 33 counties along the 1,250 miles of Texas section of the U.S.-Mexico border will be eligible for reimbursement following an announcement from the Department of Agriculture last week.

The area recorded the majority of illegal border crossings in 2021. Over 1 million illegal aliens crossed the Texas-Mexico border during the last fiscal year. This includes over 113,700 unaccompanied alien children — five times more than the 20,459 recorded by the Border Security Operations Center in 2020.

Kristy Oates, the Texas state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the Department will cover the cost of damaged “fields and farming infrastructure, including fencing and water structures.”

“We understand that the field and farming infrastructure damages along the border are costly and have a negative impact on our natural resources that our farmers and ranchers work hard to conserve,” Oates said in a statement. “Our field offices are ready to assist eligible producers with technical and financial assistance.”

The financial assistance is made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The program was created to address natural resource concerns and help farmers create environmental benefits through financial and technological assistance. At least 26 types of damages are covered by the program, including fencing repairs, livestock fatalities, irrigation, and crop planting.

Last summer, the Texas Farm Bureau sent a letter to the Department of Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Interior asking for an end to illegal immigration into America as well as financial support for the consequences suffered due to the border crisis. The request had the support of every other state’s farm bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“As the border crisis continues, we recognize short-term solutions, like the EQIP funding program, are needed,” Russell Boenings, the president of Texas Farm Bureau, told The Washington Examiner via email. “We hope USDA will continue to work with Texas farmers and ranchers to ensure this program meets their unique needs. However, we cannot stress enough the critical importance of acting on a long-term solution. Action is needed now to secure the border, first and foremost. That is the only way this crisis can truly be addressed.”

Illegal immigration hit record highs under the Biden Administration in 2021. Texas, where more illegal immigrants crossed the border than New Mexico, Arizona, and California combined, spends over $850 million a year on illegal immigrants.

Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office reported the sum in March of 2021, noted his states taxpayers spend “$579 million and $717 million each year for public hospital districts to provide uncompensated care for illegal aliens, $152 million to house illegal criminal aliens for just one year,” and “$30 million and $38 million per year on perinatal coverage for illegal aliens through the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

To receive the funding, farmers and ranchers must submit their applications by July 5, 2022. The department then will approve the applicants for financial compensation by August 5, 2022.

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