An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.Mr. Barnett's not the only U.S. rancher who has been fighting this fight.
Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.
His Cross Rail Ranch near Douglas, Ariz., is known by federal and county law enforcement authorities as "the avenue of choice" for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally. Trial continues Monday in the federal lawsuit, which seeks $32 million in actual and punitive damages for civil rights violations, the infliction of emotional distress and other crimes.
In the cover story of the September 2008 issue of Townhall Magazine, we revealed the first-hand accounts of American landowners along our southern border who have become our last line of defense against illegal immigration.
From "Life on the Border":
Joe Johnson’s family has lived and worked on the same property near Columbus, N.M., for almost 100 years. “Our grandfather came here in 1918, right behind Pancho Villa,” he says proudly. Yet he also admits, “If it wasn’t home, I would move away from it.”Check out the entire September 2008 issue of Townhall for FREE to read the full article.
The Johnson ranch lies right up against the Mexican border, and illegal immigration has turned what was already a hard way to make a living on drought-plagued rangeland into a nightmare of stolen cattle, broken water lines, ruined fences and grassfires.
“In 2005, we had 500-plus people crossing our ranch every day,” explains his wife, Teresa Johnson. “In 2006, we had 1,000-plus people crossing every day. These are not our numbers; these are Border Patrol numbers. They had counted foot traffic and the numbers of people they caught and things like that. So, you can just imagine what our fences look like.”
“We were afraid for our kids to even walk out to the barn to feed animals,” Teresa says. “We had to go as a group. One time we walked into the barn and found 15 people sitting there. And the trash is unreal.”
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