DEL RIO, Texas (NewsNation Now) — It’s common for ranchers to have migrants running through their property, cutting fencing and disturbing livestock. And for those who live it every day, it can be nerve-racking.
Page Day’s family has owned a 10,000-acre ranch in Del Rio since 1890.
Over the years, he’s caught migrant encounters on camera.
“They move through the night, walk through the brush and you don’t know what they’re going to do, if they’re going to pop out,” Day said.
Day showed NewsNation’s Robert Sherman fresh footprints in the Texas dirt from an estimated group of five to 10 migrants who passed through his land Monday.
Over the months, some groups have cut holes in his fences, which are essential to his ranching business, costing him tens of thousands of dollars. A few weeks ago, some people tried to break into his home, something he’s never seen before.
“You talk to my granddaddy, you talk to everybody … they respected you, you respected them,” Day said. “These new ones coming across, the mentality is they don’t care.”
“I’ve been living in this county for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe.
Coe says his department has been overwhelmed and the surge isn’t subsiding.
He says this is supposed to be the slow time of the year and things are expected to pick up heavily in April. The jails are already full so when the spring does roll around he has no idea what they’re going to do.
Customs and Border Protection tallied 1,812 migrant encounters in the Del Rio sector alone this past weekend.
Day said it is likely there is at least one migrant on his property each night. His guard is always up, but he is not letting anything stop him from taking care of his ranch.
“It kind of just stays in the back of your head,” Day said. “OK. I got to get out, be careful, check on everything, just make sure when you get out you know your surroundings.”