While some ranchers are mobilizing militia groups to “secure” the border, others such as Texas rancher Lavoyger Durham are setting up water stations near the border. In Durham’s ranch, there is a shining blue flag high up in the sky that marks a spot for thirsty immigrants who wish to take a jug of water from the large barrel labeled “agua,” which he fills up every week. This marked place serves as a strategic point where dehydrated migrants will come across after a 30-mile trip from a drop-off point in Mexico.
Durham felt compelled to do this after finding two bodies in his property. He believes the water station is necessary, and told NBC News, “I try to save their lives…I’ve got compassion. I’ve got pity.”
Not all ranchers agree with his sentiments. Mike Vickers stated, “The only way I would allow them to put those jugs on my property is if Border Patrol were going to be allowed to put a camera on that water source and be able to intercept these people that are utilizing them.”
He isn’t alone. Reports this week show that militia groups are recruiting armed volunteers with the mission of securing the Texas-Mexico border. Many of these militia members were also present at the Clive Bundy Ranch standoff two months ago. It is unclear how they would accomplish this task, but what is clear is they are not welcomed by the Border Patrol, who has repeatedly said that they do not endorse any action form private groups.
Durham’s act of kindness stands in contrast to all the media reports of angry citizens/militia groups who have made headlines for being hostile and sometimes downright inhumane to these migrants fleeing countries in Central America. Just last week, angry protestors blocked a bus full of migrant parents and children who were being transported to Murrieta, California for temporary stay.
President Obama has already stated that people crossing the border will be sent back to their respective countries, many of whom are young children fleeing the growing crises in Central America, largely fueled by drug and gang wars.
Carlos Vera is a Staff Writer at Latino Giant. He is passionate about the intersection between policy, advocacy and community development as it pertains to Latinos in United States. He is a Senior at American University in Washington D.C., where he is focusing his studies on the politics and policy inner workings of immigration and education. Currently, he is Co-Directing a peer mentorship program for multicultural students as a NUFP Fellow at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Previously, he has held internships at the U.S. House of Representatives, the European Parliament in Brussels, and volunteer roles in local, state and national campaigns.
Source: NBC News