‘We’re up to 17, 18 dead ones this year,’ Sheriff Arvin West said.
Just miles from El Paso lies Hudspeth County, a sparsely populated ranching community that’s faced an unprecedented flood of migrants since October, and with them, an influx of crime and death, residents and law enforcement told Fox News.
Two ranchers, along with a detained illegal immigrant, spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of the Mexican cartels, which profit off trafficking migrants across the border.
The Texas community has seen several break-ins allegedly committed by illegal immigrants, including a recent one where firearms were stolen, Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West told Fox News in an exclusive interview from his office in Sierra Blanca, which also houses the county jail.
The town, the largest in the county, is home to around 800 residents and most of the migrants flooding in have been from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“We’ve had several break-ins. Typically they break in, they try to find food, water, things to continue on their journey,” West said. “Here recently, we had a break in where they broke into the house and stole a bunch of guns. That’s a big concern.”
One rancher who would only speak on the condition of anonymity showed Fox News four structures on his sprawling property that he said were illegally entered by migrants. In one case, the rancher said the burglars ransacked the kitchen of an old ranch house in search of food. In another instance, he told Fox News migrants kicked down the door of a small structure at the back of the property.
West blamed the influx of illegal crossings and crime on the Biden administration, though he noted the surge began even prior to his election.
“I think the biggest thing is the Biden administration. Prior to him even being elected we saw this surge come up,” he said.
Marty Bustamonte, chief of staff in the Hudspeth County sheriff’s office, blamed the surge along the border, in part, because of the media.